Study of Two Heads

Peter Paul Rubens Flemish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 639

Rubens painted studies of heads after live models and artistic sources, creating a cast of characters that served in turn as models for figures in religious and mythological works. The main figure of this study served variously as a saint, a high priest, a river god, and the philosopher Plato. The other head, derived from one by Mantegna, had its own artistic afterlife. Rubens’s disciples Jacob Jordaens and especially Anthony van Dyck followed the same practice.

Study of Two Heads, Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp), Oil on wood

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