Pieter Paul Rubens
Siegen, Westphalia 1577 ? Antwerp 1640
“Portrait of a woman, possibly Marie de? Medici (1575 ? 1642)”
Oil on canvas 62 ? 48 cm
The Magics of personality
This striking, psychologically appealing and inviting portrait of a woman is possibly Marie de? Medici,?who was the second wife to King Henry IV of France and one of the most significant historical female figures. ?The composition is influenced by the conservative style of the period, where the models were presented in their correct static splendour as if both the model and the author were following a prescribed accepted etiquette. Rubens's manner, however, was more picturesque and liberal; although he seemed to follow the approved canons, the artist appeared to be less restrained and more daring, which demonstrates his powerful artistic nature.