Peter Paul Rubens’ Portrait of Isabella Brant is a captivating painting completed between 1625-26. It portrays the artist’s first wife and is currently exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The artwork measures roughly 145 x 115 cm and includes a beautiful landscape as its background.
The portrait has been praised by art historians because of its use of vibrant color, depicting Isabella with a full-bodied pose to reflect her voluptuous beauty. Rubens’ most prominent brushwork occurs in her voluminous skirt and the bracelet around her arm. His use of tonal contrast causes her fair skin to glow with luminosity against the luxuriously delineated fabrics that envelop her figure.
In Peter Paul Ruben’s later paintings, he focused on portraying his second wife, Helen Fourment, and their children illuminated by soft colors, showing his playful affection for them. Helene Fourment And Her Children, Claire-Jeanne And Francois is one such painting that measures 297 cm x 245 cm and features their children in a pastoral setting suggesting an idyllic family life. These later works all reflect an enduring reverence to family found throughout Ruben’s artistic career―find out more today at the Cleveland Museum of Art!