The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse

Object Details

Title:

The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse

Artist/Maker(s):

Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)

Culture:

Flemish

Date:

about 1623 - 1624

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

64.5 x 49.8 cm (25 3/8 x 19 5/8 in.)

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This oil sketch or modello was commissioned by Prince-Bishop Viet Adam for the main altarpiece of Freising Cathedral in southern Germany. In the center the Virgin Mary holds the Christ Child while trampling the serpent of sin, who curls around the moon at her feet. To the left the Archangel Michael and angels cast out Satan, the "great red dragon with seven heads," and other ghoulish demons. Above, God the Father instructs an angel to place a pair of wings on the Virgin's shoulders.

Peter Paul Rubens contrasted good with evil by juxtaposing the agony and gruesomeness of the demons as they fall into hell with the Virgin and Child rising heavenward at the right. Rapid and gestural brushstrokes lend immediacy and drama to the scene.

Provenance
about 1623/1624 - 1803

Kloster Neustift (Freising, Germany)

- 1820

Benjamin West, American, 1738 - 1820, active England (London, England) [sold, West sale, Christie's, London, June 24, 1820, lot 75, to Baker.]

1820 -

Baker (London, England)

1822

Private Collection [unsold, Christie's, June 10, 1822.]

1824

Private Collection [sold, West sale, Christie's, London, May 28, 1824, lot 70.]

by 1868 - 1887

Edmund M. Blood (London, England), sold through Wilhelm von Bode (Berlin, Germany) to Eduard Friedrich Weber.

1887 - 1912

Eduard Friedrich Weber, German, 1830 - 1907 (Hamburg, Germany) [sold, Weber sale, Lepke, Berlin, February 20, 1912, lot 191, to Marczell de Nemes von Janoshaza.]

1912 - 1913

Marczell de Nemes von Janoshaza, 1866 - 1930 (Budapest, Hungary; Munich, Germany) [sold, Marczell de Nemes sale, Lair-Dubreuil, Baudoin, at Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, June 17, 1913, lot 72.]

by 1917 -

Federico Gentili di Giuseppe, 1868 - 1940 (Paris, France)

by 1919 -

Bousquart (Paris, France)

- 1938

Walter M. Feilchenfeldt (Berlin, Germany; London, England; Zurich, Switzerland)

- 1938

and Galerie Paul Cassirer (Berlin, Germany; London, England; Zurich, Switzerland), sold to Alfred Hausamann, 1938.

1938 - 1984

Alfred Hausamann (Zürich, Switzerland), sold through Walter Feilchenfeldt (Zurich, Switzerland) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
National Exhibition of Works of Art (1868) (827; p. 56 [as Rubens oil sketch for the Vision of the Red Dragon])
  • Leeds City Museum and Galleries, (Leeds), 1868
Kunsthistorische Ausstellung (1904) (271; p. 119 cat. edited by E. Firmenich-Richartz)
  • Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 1904
Sammlung Marczell von Nemes (July to December, 1912) (Cat. 29)
  • Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, July to December, 1912
Olieverfschetsen van Rubens (July 1, 1953 to December 1, 1954) (47; pp. 67 - 68, pl. 41)
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, (Rotterdam), July 1, 1953 to December 1, 1954
Weltkunst aus Privatbesitz (May 18 to August 4, 1968) (F31, colorplate XX)
  • Kunsthalle Köln, (Cologne), May 18 to August 4, 1968
Rubens and His Time (November 5, 1998 to June 27, 1999) (F31, colorplate XX)
  • Museo Nacional de San Carlos, (Mexico City), November 5, 1998 to February 28, 1999
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti (Ferrara), March 28 to June 27, 1999
Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens (October 2, 2004 to September 11, 2005) (F31, colorplate XX)
  • Bruce Museum, (Greenwich), October 2, 2004 to January 30, 2005
  • University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, (Berkeley), March 2 to May 22, 2005
  • Cincinnati Art Museum, (Cincinnati), June 14 to September 11, 2005
American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World (October 6, 2013 to January 19, 2014) (F31, colorplate XX)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 6, 2013 to January 19, 2014