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Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640): The Drawings

January 15–April 3, 2005

Later Antwerp Years, 1616–1635

During the second decade of the seventeenth century, Rubens was in charge of a large studio of students and collaborators who assisted him in fulfilling the many commissions he received from churches, courts, and private citizens. He began a project by creating an oil sketch of the proposed composition that he submitted to the patron for approval. Students would begin the work while Rubens established the final poses of the most important figures by creating detailed chalk drawings from models posing in his studio. His disciples would transfer the figures to the canvas. Once finished, Rubens would add the final touches. Many of these large and lucid model drawings—the most prominent group of drawings from the 1620s—are in the exhibition.