This pair of pictures is of considerable art-historical interest and importance, as the only complete record of the first compositional modello, now lost, for the corresponding canvases in the Banqueting House ceiling, painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens to celebrate the rule of James I, and installed in 1636, during the reign of Charles I. As the enclosed letter by David Carritt relates, they were once thought to have been painted by Watteau, who may have seen Rubens's original modello (or modelli) in Crozat's collection. The present lot is a precious record of Rubens's creative process, recording numerous details that were later modified in subsequent studies and in the final work; these are given close attention by Gregory Martin in his complete discussion of the Banqueting House ceiling (loc. cit.; see also pp. 278-304, passim).