Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 15771640); Christoffel Jegher (Flemish, 15961652/53)
Pen and brown ink, brown and green wash, heightened with light body color, over black chalk; 18 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (46.3 x 70.5 cm) (left part); 18 3/4 x 27 7/8 in. (47.6 x 70.6 cm) (right part)
Fletcher Fund, 1958 (58.96.1,.2)
Rubens supervised the engravers who reproduced his paintings throughout his career. Only in the early 1630s did he turn to woodcuts, in close collaboration with Christoffel Jegher. These two drawings are models by Rubens based on his great painting The Garden of Love (Museo del Prado, Madrid) and made for Jegher's woodcuts, which reproduces them in reverse. The initial design in black chalk is by Rubens, while most of the rest of the drawing can be attributed to Jegher. The drawings essentially transform the composition into a frieze, most notably by dividing it into two separate parts, pushing the figures to the foreground and cropping the architecture at the top. This friezelike adaptation gives the figural groups a wonderful immediacy.