Figural Study for the "Garden of love": Hélène Fourment, Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
Figural Study for the "Garden of love": Hélène Fourment
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Related external works

Realisation

Peter Paul Rubens, El jardín del Amor / Der Liebesgarten, 1630-1635, Öl auf Leinwand, 199 x 286 cm. Madrid, Museo del Prado, Inv. Nr. P01690

Part of the same work process

Peter Paul Rubens, Jonge man, een jonge vrouw omarmend / Junger Mann eine Frau umarmend, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 322 x 300 mm. Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Inv. Nr. TA 10301 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.56.198)

Peter Paul Rubens, Zittende jonge man / Sitzender junger Mann, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 290 x 351 mm. Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Inv. Nr. TA 10302 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.56.199)

Peter Paul Rubens, Sitzende junge Frau, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 427 x 505 mm. Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. Nr. KdZ 4003 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.200)

Peter Paul Rubens, Knielende jonge vrouw / Kniende Frau, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 403 x 474 mm. Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Inv. Nr. TA 10300 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.201)

Peter Paul Rubens, Jeune femme agenouillée, tête appuyée sur la main droite / Kniende Frau, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 507 x 457 mm. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques, Inv. Nr. 20194 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.202)

Peter Paul Rubens, Junge Frau, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 492 x 433 mm. Haarlem, Privatbesitz (ehem. Haarlem, Sammlung Franz Koenigs) (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.203; Bernhard 1977.409)

Peter Paul Rubens, Jeune femme tenant un éventail / Stehende Frau mit einem Fächer, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 535 x 345 mm. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques, Inv. Nr. 20196 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.204)

Peter Paul Rubens, Jonge man, een trap afdalend / Junger Mann eine Treppe herabsteigend, ca. 1632/1634, schwarze, rote und weiße Kreide auf Papier, 555 x 405 mm. Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Inv. Nr. TA 10299 (Glück/Haberditzl 1928.57.205)

Peter Paul Rubens

Figural Study for the "Garden of love": Hélène Fourment, ca. 1632


Blatt
566 x 320 mm
Physical Description
Black, white and red chalk
Inventory Number
846
Object Number
846 Z
Status
Can be presented in the study hall of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

Peter Paul Rubens was the most famous and sought-after painter in Europe when he married Hélène Fourment (1614-1673), the beautiful young daughter of an Antwerp merchant, in 1630, his first wife having died some years previously. The happiness his second marriage brought him began at the start of the last decade of his life. It inspired him to create the grandiose painting of the 'Garden of Love', today in the Prado in Madrid. It shows happy couples convivially assembled in an Arcadian setting, with Rubens himself leading his young wife into the circle of lovers.

The chalk drawing at the Städel Museum is a study for the figure of Hélène Fourment in the 'Garden of Love'. The emphasis, however, is not on the portrait, but on the figure's harmony of balance as it steps hesitantly forward, and on the material effect of the bouffant dress. With complete assurance regarding the graphic means at his disposal, Rubens does not draw in an exploratory manner but depicts the effect of the precious fabric and its lively movement with rapid, unhindered chalk strokes, and by making virtuoso use of the free areas of paper and adding a few sections heightened in white. The head and face are outlined with a few delicate lines; light red hatching across the face introduces the shy inhibition of his beloved.

This masterful drawing, perhaps the most beautiful of the studies for the 'Garden of Love' to have survived, originated in the collection of the founder of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, who acquired it at the end of the eighteenth or beginning of the nineteenth century. This example not only shows that Johann Friedrich Städel sought to assemble works by the greatest master artists in order to form a descriptive history of art, but also that in doing so he demonstrated a precise eye for what was exceptional and of high quality.

About the Donation

In March 1815, the Frankfurt businessman and banker Johann Friedrich Städel bequeathed his entire fortune and art collection to a foundation which was to be named after him: the 'Städelsches Kunstinstitut'. However, he also dedicated the foundation to the citizens of Frankfurt immaterially, wishing it to be an "adornment and of practical use" to Frankfurt's citizenry. He was thus the first ordinary citizen in the German-speaking region to found a public art museum: the present-day Städel Museum. When he died, his collection comprised 476 paintings, some 4,600 drawings, almost 10,000 printed graphics and valuable books.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Figural Study for the "Garden of love": Hélène Fourment
Draughtsman
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Black, white and red chalk
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Captions Added Later
Bezeichnet unten rechts (von fremder Hand?, mit der Feder in Braun): P. P. Rubens; Sammlermarke [?, nicht identifizierte Paraphe, nicht bei Lugt]; verso unten links Stempel des Städelschen Kunstinstituts, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
Watermark
  • Elefant
Work Catalogues
  • Glück/Haberditzl 1928.56.197
  • Bernhard 1977.404
  • Nicht bei Burchard/D'Hulst
  • Nicht bei Held

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown

Iconclass

Primary
  • 61BB2(FOURMENT, Helene)11 historical person (FOURMENT, Helene) - BB - woman - historical person (FOURMENT, Helene) portrayed alone
  • 31AA231(+2) standing figure - AA - female human figure (+ back view)
Secondary

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Last import

02.12.2019