Sketches and drawings
by Peter Paul RUBENS

In Rubens's workshop practice drawings played an important role. First he made a quick sketch, usually drawn and washed in brown ink. (In some cases, however, he painted the first designs in grisaille on a panel.) Next he produced a detailed "modello" in colour (a sketch in oil), which was submitted to the client who either approved it or gave his comments on it. Once the composition existed in the shape of a definitive modello, all kinds of anatomical details were established in separate detail studies. Thus he made chalk drawing from nude male models posing for him in attitudes required by the composition. The many studies of heads played also an important role in the practice. Finally Rubens made several further studies of movement details. However, there are also drawings by his hand of architectural details, trees, animals and even farm implements.

Preview Picture Data Info
St Gregory the Great with Saints
Oil on canvas, 146 x 119 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Lamentation
c. 1606
Oil on copper, 28 x 24 cm
Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville

Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas transferred from panel, 64 x 47 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Madonna della Vallicella Adored by Seraphim and Cherubim
Oil on canvas, 86 x 57 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

The Lamentation
c. 1609
Oil on panel, 34 x 27 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
Oil on panel, 41 x 46 cm
Courtauld Gallery, London

Esther before Ahasuerus
Oil on wood, 33 x 32 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

'Modello' for the Assumption of Mary
Oil on panel, 88 x 59 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Christ on the Cross
Oil on panel, 51 x 38 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

The Flagellation of Christ
Oil on panel, 37,4 x 35,1 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent

The Chariot of Apollo
Oil on oak panel, 99 x 73 cm
Private collection

The Victory of Eucharistic Truth over Heresy
c. 1626
Oil on panel, 86 x 105 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Triumph of Church over Fury, Discord, and Hate
Oil on panel, 86 x 91 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Apollo and the Python
Oil on panel, 27 x 42 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek
Oil on panel, 66 x 82 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The Prophet Elijah Receiving Bread and Water from an Angel
Oil on canvas, 72 x 62 cm
Musée Bonnat, Bayonne

Raising of the Cross
Oil on wood, 68 x 107 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchisedek
Oil on wood, 49 x 65 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Oil on wood, 50 x 64 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Death of Constantine
Tapestry, wool and silk with gold and silver threads, 489 x 497 cm
Museum of Art, Philadelphia

The Three Graces
Oil on wood, 47 x 34 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints
c. 1628
Oil on wood, 80 x 56 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Music Making Angels
c. 1628
Oil on oak, 65 x 83 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Marriage of Henri IV of France and Marie de Médicis
Oil on panel, 23 x 12,5 cm
Wallace Collection, London

The Birth of Henri IV of France
Oil on panel, 21,5 x 10 cm
Wallace Collection, London

Cupid Riding a Dolphin
Oil on wood, 14,5 x 13,5 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

The Fall of Icarus
Oil on wood, 27 x 27 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

The Triumphal Car of Kallo
Oil on panel, 103 x 71 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

The Duke of Lerma
Black chalk and pen
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Silenus (or Bacchus) and Satyrs
c. 1616
Drawing, 383 x 266 mm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Portrait of a Chambermaid
c. 1625
Sanguine with charcoal, 380 x 280 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

St. George Slaying the Dragon
Pen with brown ink and brown wash
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Hercules Crowned by Genii
c. 1621
Drawing, 470 x 320 mm
British Museum, London

Nicolaas Rubens
Drawing, 290 x 230 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

Portrait of a Young Woman
Black and red chalk, 473 x 354 mm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Vision of Ezekiel
Red and black pencil, grey watercolour on white paper, 300 x 225 mm
Museo Horne, Florence

Summary of works by Rubens
Religious themes
until 1616 | 1617-20 | 1620s | 1630s
Altarpieces in Antwerp Cathedral | Biblical scenes
Mythological themes
until 1614 | 1614-29 | 1630s
Large royal projects | Allegorical themes
until 1629 | 1630s
Landscapes | Hunting and other themes
Graphic works | Architecture

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.