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 monumental drawings are models based on a composition also known from Rubens’s painting in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. They were made for Jegher’s woodcuts, which reproduce them in reverse. The initial design in black chalk is by Rubens, while most of the rest of the drawing can be attributed to a workshop assistant. 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 frieze-like adaptation gives the figural groups a wonderful immediacy.
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Title:The Garden of Love (left portion)
Artist:Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)
Artist: Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)
Medium:Pen, brown ink, brush and gray-green wash over traces of black chalk, touched with indigo, green, yellowish, and white paint
Dimensions:18 1/4 x 27 3/4 in. (46.3 x 70.5 cm) (including added strips at left and right)
Credit Line:Fletcher Fund, 1958
Inscription: Inscribed lower right: Petro Pauwlo Rubbens On back of mount: J C Robinson / July 18 1983 from Ld. Aylesford coll. (see Lugt suppl. 2141b) Lower center of mount in ink: 133
Marking: Lower right collector's mark of Sir John Charles Robinson (Lugt 1433) On mount collector's stamp of Earl of Aylesford (Lugt 58)
Pierre Crozat (French)(Lugt 2951;165 with paraph); Louis Antoine Crozat, Baron de Thiers, Paris (French)(other sheet, given to Mariette); Pierre Jean Mariette (French), his sale, Paris, November 15–January 30, 1775, lot 994both sheets, 979 livres 19 sous to Basan); Jan Jansz Gildemeester, his sale, Amsterdam, September 26, 1814(not in U.S.A. according to Lugt, Rép. 8587; see Exhibition Antwerp: "Omslag N, nr. 1"), florins 700 to Christian Josi; Christian Josi (Dutch); Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford (British); his sale, Christie's, London , July 17–18, 1893, £72 to J.C. Robinson; Sir John Charles Robinson (British); his sale, Christie's, London , May 12–14 May, 1902, lot 334, says both drawings "afterwards carried out in a picture now in the Madrid Gallery [sic] (£820 to Thomas Agnew & Sons); Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.; William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme; Lady Lever Art Gallery; Vendor: Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. Vendor: Grands Augustins, Paris , 10 April - 13 May 1741, no. 828 La Coversation gravé en bois par Jegher, sold with three other drawings to Mariette for 231 livres
Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "A loan exhibition of works by Peter Paul Rubens," October 4, 1950–November 11, 1950.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flemish Drawings and Prints," September 19–November 12, 1989.
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. "Rubens," March 6, 2004–June 13, 2004.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes. "Watteau et les fêtes galantes," March 6, 2004–June 14, 2004.
Vienna. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640): The Drawings," September 15–December 5, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640): The Drawings," January 14–April 3, 2005.
Brussels. BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts. "Rubens and His Legacy: From Van Dyck to Cézanne," September 25, 2014–January 4, 2015.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Rubens and His Legacy: From Van Dyck to Cézanne," January 24–April 10, 2015.
Christian Josi Collection d'imitations de dessins. London, 1821.
A. de Montaiglon, Philippe de Chennevières Abecadario de P.J. Mariette. vol. 5, Paris, 1858-1859.
Max Rooses L'Oeuvre de P. P. Rubens. vols. I-V, Antwerp, 1890, vol V, p.137, no. 1322 (called La Sociéte Élégante où Le Jardin d'Amour, valued at 231 livres with three other drawings in Crozat sale)., fig. no. 269, pp. 69, 70, ill.
Max Rooses "De Teekeningen der Vlaamsche Meesters (Rubens)." Onze Kunst. July 1903,. 1903, pp. 8-9.
Max Rooses Rubens. 1, London, 1904, vol II p. 589, 624 (calls it an absolute masterpiece, one of nine drawings for woodcuts by Jeghers), p. 335.
Edward Dillon Rubens. London, 1909, p. 165.
Max Rooses "Oeuvre de Rubens, Addenda et corrigenda" in Bulletin Rubens. vol. 5, 1910, p. 199.
T. H. Fokker "Due pitture di "genere" Fiamminghe nella Reggia di Napoli." in Bolletino d'arte. vol. 8, 1928-9, p. 205.
R. R. Tatlock, Roger Eliot Fry A record of the collections in the Lady Lever Art Gallery . . .formed by the first Viscount Leverhulme. vol. 1, London, 1928, cat. no. 257, 258, fig. no. 110, p. 153, ill.
Gustav Glück Rubens, Van Dyck und ihr Kreis. Vienna, 1933, pp. 115-117.
Jacob Burckhardt Rubens. 1938, p. 164.
Hans Gerhard Evers Peter Paul Rubens. 1942, p. 340.
Christopher Norris "Rubens in retrospect." in Burlington Magazine. vol. 93, January 1951, pp. 8-9.
Otto Benesch "Beiträge zum Werk des Rubens." in Alte und Neue Kunst (Wiener Kunstwissenschaftlicher Blatter). vol. 3, 1954, pp. 15-16.
Julius S. Held Rubens: Selected Drawings. Phaidon Press, London, 1959, fig. no. 162, 163, pp. 37-38, 81, 1, ill.
Horst Gerson, Englebert Henrick ter Kuile Art and architecture in Belgium 1600-1800 (The Pelican history of art). Baltimore, 1960, note 67, pp. 84-85, 185.
Jacob Bean "The Drawings Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 20, New York, 1962, pp. 166-167, ill.
Wolfgang Burchard "The Garden of Love by Rubens" in Burlington Magazine. October 1963, p. 428.
Ludwig Burchard, R.-A. d'Hulst Rubens Drawings. Brussels, 1963, fig. no. pl. 180, pp. 278-281, ill.
Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1964, cat. no. 81, ill.
Rüdiger Klessmann "Ruben's Saint Cecilia in the Berlin Gallery after cleaning" in Burlington Magazine. vol. 107, November,. 1965, fig. no. 11, p. 553, ill.
J. M. Hofstede "Zwei Hirtenidyllen des Späten Rubens" in Pantheon. January 1966, fig. no. 1, pp. 31-42, ill.
Mary L. Myers "Rubens and the woodcuts of Christoffel Jegher." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 25, no. 1, Summer 1966, fig. no. 21, 22, p. 17, ill.
"Aus der Arbeit der Museen (France)." in Pantheon. vol. 25, no. 4, July-August 1967, p. 299.
Ellis Kirham Waterhouse The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor. Paintings, 1967, p. 200.
Konrad Renger "Rubens Dedit Dedicavitque, Rubens Beschäftigung mit der Reproduktionsgrafik." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen. 1974, vol. XVII, fig. no. 12a, p. 181, ill.
Konrad Renger "Planänderungen in Rubensstichen." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. Heft 1, 1974, footnote 72, pp. 26, 30.
Annegret Glang-Süberkrüb P.P. Rubens, Der Liebesgarten. Kieler Kunsthistorische Studien, Band 6, Frankfurt, 1975, pp. 49-53.
Marijn Schapelhouman Oude tekeningen in het bezit van de Gemeentemusea van Amsterdam waaronder de collectie Fodor: Tekeningen van Noord - en Zuidnederlandse kunstenaars geboren voor 1600. vol. II, Amsterdam, 1979, cat. no. 64, 67.
Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Karl-Ulrich Majer Bilder vom irdischen Glück : Giorgione, Tizian, Rubens, Watteau, Fragonard. Exh. cat., Weissen Saal des Charlottenburger Schlosses zu Berlin, October 2 - November 13. Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, 1983, fig. no. pp. 16, 17, pp. 17, 19, ill.
Otto von Simson "Rubens: das Liebesfest." in Ex. cat.: Bilder vom irdischen Glück, Berlin. Berlin, 1983, fig. no. 9, 10, pp. 16-17, ill.
Henri Hymans "Le musée du Prado . . . Rubens et le XVII siècle." in Gazette des Beaux-Arts. vol. 37, no. 11, 1984, p. 84.
Julius S. Held Rubens Selected Drawings. 2nd edition (revised). Oxford, 1986, cat. no. 210, 211, fig. no. 203, 204, pp. 150-151, ill.
Christopher White Peter Paul Rubens: Man and Artist. New Haven/London, 1987, pp. 270-271.
Françoise Viatte, Varena Forcione Leonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits. Exh. cat.: Paris, Musée du Louvre, May 5 - July 14. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, p. 299.
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. 44, 97, 99, 105, 107, 112, cat. no. 115, pp. 438-443, 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, pp. 15, 45, 47, 51, 53, 55, 266; detail, 263; infrared reflectogram of detail, 264, cat. no. 93, pp. 260-265, ill.
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