The Virgin Adored by Saints (recto); Study of the Torso Belvedere (verso)
Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)
Pen and brown ink (recto); red chalk (verso)
15 9/16 x 10 1/4 in. (39.5 x 26 cm)
Purchase, 2001 Benefit Fund, 2002
Not on view
Recto: These rapidly executed sketches represent Rubens's first ideas for an altarpiece commissioned by the Church of the Augustinian Fathers in Antwerp, now in the city's Royal Museum of Fine Arts. At top center, Saint Catherine kneels before the Virgin and Christ Child, while to the left is a more detailed study of her drapery. Below, several other saints are depicted with gentle outlines. In the foreground, from left to right, Saints George, Sebastian, and William of Aquitaine pay homage to the Virgin. Although Rubens later altered the composition, he incorporated several elements from this early stage of his creative process into the painting.
Verso: This drawing was made by Rubens as a young man on his first trip to Rome, in 1601–2. It is a study of the back view of the an antique sculpture dating to the first century B.C., which belonged to the Colonna family in the seventeenth century and is today in the Vatican Museums. Using red chalk and a technique of soft overlapping hatching, Rubens produced lifelike results that belie the marble material of his subject.
Private Collection, Paris; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 28, 2003–July 27, 2003.
Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640," September 14, 2004–December 5, 2004.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640," January 14, 2005–April 3, 2005.
National Gallery, London. "Rubens: A Master in the Making," October 26, 2005–January 15, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 19, 2013–February 10, 2014.
Christopher White Peter Paul Rubens: Man and Artist. New Haven/London, 1987, fig. no. 229, p. 206, ill.
Carmen C. Bambach, Michiel C. Plomp, Colta Ives, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2001-2002." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 60, no. 2, Autumn 2002, p. 19, ill.
Anne Marie Logan, Michiel C. Plomp, Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Heinz Widauer Peter Paul Rubens. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna, Sept. 15 - Dec. 5, 2004 (also see New York, 2005). Dr. Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Heinz Widauer, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, 2004, pp. 16, 25, 57, 61, 69, 72, 88, 112, cat. no. 97, pp. 386-393, ill.
Anne Marie Logan, Michiel C. Plomp Peter Paul Rubens: The Drawings. Exh. cat.: January 15 - April 3, 2005; also Albertina, Vienna, 2004. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2005, recto: pp. 25, 28, 30, 40, 56;
verso: pp. 5, 6, 22, 28, 40, 69, 110, 146n4, 172, 271, 274, cat. no. 34, pp. 140-144, ill.