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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)

Copy after Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 17th century)
Oil on wood
10 x 7 5/8 in. (25.4 x 19.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Bertha H. Buswell, 1941
Accession Number:
Not on view
Joseph John Martin, Ham Court, Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire (by 1854–d. 1873); George Edward Martin, Ham Court (1873–d.1905); Eliot George Bromley Martin, Ham Court (1905–24; sale, Christie's, London, March 28, 1924, no. 155, for £325.10 to Buttery); [Horace Buttery, London, from 1924]; [Kleinberger, Paris and New York, until 1927, sold for $5,500 to Aldred]; John Edward Aldred, Lattingtown, N.Y. (1927–40; his sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, December 6, 1940, no. 14, for $2,100); Bertha H. (Mrs. Henry C.) Buswell, Buffalo, N.Y. (1940–41)
London. Grosvenor Gallery. "Exhibition of the Works of Sir Anthony van Dyck," Summer 1887, no. 146 (lent by G. E. Martin, Esq.).

London. New Gallery. "Exhibition of Pictures by Masters of the Flemish and British Schools," 1899–1900, no. 103 (lent by G. E. Martin).

Detroit Institute of Arts. "Eighth Loan Exhibition of Old Masters, Paintings by Anthony van Dyck," April 3–20, 1929, no. 5 (lent by John E. Aldred, New York).

[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Treasures of Art in Great Britain. London, 1854, vol. 3, p. 225, as a portrait of Rubens by Van Dyck, at Ham Court.

Handbook for Travellers in Worcestershire and Herefordshire. 4th ed. London, 1894, p. 61.

Ella S. Siple. "Recent Acquisitions by American Collectors." Burlington Magazine 51 (December 1927), p. 303, as by Van Dyck.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner. A Loan Exhibition of Fifty Paintings by Van Dyck. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1929, unpaginated, no. 5, ill., tentatively dates it 1617 based on Rubens's appearance, but notes, however, that the technique suggests Van Dyck's second Antwerp period.

Wilhelm R. Valentiner. "Die Van Dyck-Ausstellung in Detroit." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 63 (1929–30), pp. 106, 108, ill., dates it to the second Antwerp period and proposes that Van Dyck gave Rubens a more youthful appearance than he had at the time.

Gustav Glück. Van Dyck, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1909]. Stuttgart, 1931, p. 517, ill. p. XV, dates it shortly after Van Dyck's return from Italy, and calls the oil sketch in the Buccleuch collection a "lesser example".

Hans Gerhard Evers. Rubens und sein Werk: Neue Forschungen. Brussels, 1943, p. 332, as one of the versions relating to Pontius's engraving.

Erik Larsen. L'opera completa di Van Dyck. Milan, 1980, vol. 2, p. 89, no. 541, ill., as by Van Dyck.

Walter A. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 91–94; vol. 2, pl. 38, as a copy after Van Dyck.

Walter A. Liedtke. "Anthony van Dyck." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 42 (Winter 1984/85), pp. 35–36, fig. 35.

Erik Larsen. The Paintings of Anthony van Dyck. Freren, Germany, 1988, vol. 2, p. 247, no. 608, ill., as by Van Dyck.

The "Iconography," a series of engraved portraits of famous men and women, was planned and largely designed by Van Dyck during the 1630s. The present portrait is connected with that project. The original version of this portrait probably derives in a very free manner from a self-portrait by Rubens dating from the late 1620s or early 1630s. The MMA picture is evidently a copy of an oil sketch in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry at Boughton House. The authorship of oil sketches connected with the "Iconography" has been a matter of debate. Almost all of the forty-one sketches at Boughton, however, appear to be by Van Dyck himself, including the original of this portrait of Rubens, and a second, slightly different oil sketch of Rubens in the same collection.

Pontius's engraving in the "Iconography" (see M. Mauquoy-Hendrickx, L'Iconographie d'Antoine van Dyck, Catalogue Raisonné, Brussels, 1956, pp. 223–24, no. 62, ill.) reverses the direction of the first oil sketch at Boughton and the Museum's version of it, and differs from them in some details; the second oil sketch at Boughton corresponds in the direction with the engraving and appears to be a revision of the first.
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