Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp)
Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp)

Henry of Luxembourg and another man

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp)
Henry of Luxembourg and another man
inscribed by Rubens 'Henricus Luxemburgensis' and further notes in Flemish on the color and materials of the costumes
pen and brown ink, on grey paper
4 3/8 x 8 3/8 in. (11.3 x 21.2 cm.), irregular
E. Rodrigues (L. 897).
Ludwig Burchard, and by descent to the present owner.
L. Burchard and R.A. d'Hulst, Rubens Drawings, Brussels, 1963, pp. 13-15, no. 2, pl. II.
K. Lohse Belkin, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. XXIV. The Costume Book, London and Philadelphia, 1978, pp. 175-76, no. 44.
C. White, review of Belkin, The Costume Book, in Master Drawings, XXI, 1983, p. 61, no. 1.

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Lot Essay

The figure represented on the left of this drawing has been tentatively identified with Henry VII (circa 1275-circa 1313), the first Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Luxembourg. Although on an unusual grey paper, the drawing most likely comes from the so-called Costume Book. The sketchbook was assembled around 1609-12, in the years after Rubens' return from Italy. The larger part has been incorporated into an 18th-century binding and is now preserved in the British Museum. A number of loose sheets (such as this one) were dispersed over the centuries. The original compilation contained around 250 drawings after 15th- and 16th-century portraits of Flemish and Burgundian nobles in contemporary clothes. Rubens copied his figures from widely-circulated model books as well as works by other masters. The Costume Book was most likely intended as a highly personal visual repertory of early costumes which the painter could use at his discretion in his own paintings.

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