Drawings by Rubens

I had an art post all ready to go for Halloween: a memento mori from the Walters Art Gallery. (Don’t click that if skeletons frighten you.) My daughter thought it was scary and gross, which, really, was the point, but I deleted it.

Anyway, now I’ve brought you some pretty things: drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.

Most people think of Rubens (if they think of him at all) as a splashy, sexy, overwhelming painter. That’s why I find some of his portrait drawings in chalk or charcoal so…moving, I guess, especially the pictures of his family; they’re so delicate and detailed. Reading from right to left (above), we have a drawing of Rubens’ first wife, Isabella Brant; Rubens’ son Nicolaas; the Duke of Buckingham (thrown in to make the gallery layout work, although it is a lovely picture that makes it easy to see why he caused so much trouble); Susanna Fourment, Rubens sister-in-law, and someone who is either a Spanish princess or Rubens’ daughter Clara, who died at the age of twelve. I hope it’s Clara.

Susanna Fourment (later Louden) posed for several paintings by her brother-in-law, including the famous Le Chapeau de Paille. (Do click on that link; she was ravishingly beautiful.)

All the pictures are from Wikimedia Commons, or the-athenaeum.org, and are in the public domain. I’ll be a good girl and sort the specifics out later – I’m tired :-)

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