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Probably Marchesa Maria Grimaldi and her Dwarf

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1607

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

2413 x 1397 mm (95 x 55 in)

Place of origin

Italy

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Collection

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset, South West, National Trust

NT 1257100

Caption

The sitter is elaborately dressed. Her gown is fronted, edged and sleeved with gold braiding, and the cuffs are small white ruffs while around her neck is a vast cart-wheel layered ruff. It is a sumptuous full-length portrait, probably of the marchesa Maria Grimaldi, whose father, Carlo Grimaldi put his villa at Sampadierna at the disposal of Rubens and his employer, Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga of Mantua, in 1607. She is accompanied by a dwarf who pulls aside a curtain revealing a grand architectural setting composed of a colonnade of Corinthian pillars, the foremost pillar entwined with flowers coming from the formal garden to the left and her dog who has A M inscribed on its collar.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Probably Marchesa Maria Grimaldi and her Dwarf by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 – Antwerp 1640), inscribed on the dog's collar: My AM, circa 1607. A full-length portrait, probably of the marchesa Maria Grimaldi, whose father, Carlo Grimaldi put his villa at Sampadierna at the disposal of Rubens and his employer, Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga of Mantua, in 1607. She is seated, turned three-quarters to left, facing the spectator wearing a vast cart-wheel layered ruff, elaborately dressed, her gown fronted, edged and sleeved with gold braiding, her cuffs composed of small white ruffs, her left arm resting on the chair-arm her right holding a half-opened fan; a dog, to left, standing on its hind legs, with its front paws on her dress, a dwarf with a large head is placed behind her chair to the left, his right arm is raised in the act of pulling aside a curtain; architectural setting composed of a colonnade of Corinthian pillars, the foremost pillar entwined with flowers coming from a slender view (left) of a formal garden; scarlet drapes to right, carpeted floor.

Provenance

Recorded by Ratti as hanging in the first floor apartment of Palazzo Centurione in Genoa occupied by Giovanbattista Grimaldi La Pietra in 1780; acquired by William John Bankes (1786-1855) from the Palazzo Grimaldi, Genoa in 1840; bequeathed by (Henry John) Ralph Bankes (1902 – 1981) to the National Trust, together with the estates of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy and its entire contents in 1981

Credit line

Kingston Lacy, The Bankes Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

My AM (on the dog's collar)

Makers and roles

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

Exhibition history

Rubens and His Legacy, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014 - 2015, no.104 Rubens and His Legacy, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium , 2014 - 2015, no.104

References

Rubens and His Legacy, BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels 25 September 2014 - 4 January 2015 and Royal Academy, London 24 January - 10 April 2015, no. 104, p. 236 Jaffé 1989 Michael Jaffé Rubens Catalogo Completo, Milan, 1989, no. 58 Rubens (ed. Hans Vlieghe), exh. cat., Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, 2004, no. 15

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