Head of a Young Man
36.5 cm x 24.5 cm (14 3/8 in. x 9 5/8 in.)
Peter Paul Rubens
(Siegen, Germany, 1577 - 1640, Antwerp, Belgium)
Medium and Support:
Oil on antique laid paper mounted on wood panel
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Peter Paul Rubens was a painter, draftsman, and diplomat in several European courts. Considered to be one of the pioneers of Baroque art, Rubens was highly sought after during his lifetime. In order to keep up with the high demand for his work, Rubens ran a large workshop and often used same figural models for different works.
This study is among his earliest oil sketches. It was probably used for a painting illustrated here, "The Mocking of Christ," which was one of Rubens’s first public commissions in Rome. Over the next fifteen years, the artist would frequently use this face, which appears in at least four other religious paintings with themes like Christ’s transfiguration.