The Portrait of Susanna Fourment is a painting made by Peter Paul Rubens, thought to have been executed between 1622 and 1625. This oil on canvas depicts a woman in a white dress with a black beret or hat covering her hair. The hat and her left arm, together with the small shadow of a figure below her, indicates that this might be a marriage portrait. Susanna Fourment had recently married her second husband Arnold Lunden, and this painting most likely dates from shortly thereafter.
Looking closer at the artwork, there is an interesting representation of light and shadow which gives the painting a mysterious mood. The figure of Susanna sits in darkness—with only the bright light of the lantern illuminating her face—which allows us to faintly glimpse into the sitter’s character by looking into her eyes.
Peter Paul Rubens expertly captures Susanna in alluring simplicity in this artwork; this captivating portrait serves as an example of Ruben’s extraordinary skill in conveying emotion and bringing alive listeners’ imaginations through art. Another similarly enchanting portrait painted by Rubens from around the same time period includes his Portrait of Isabella Brant from 1625-26; the restraint and power it exudes similarly draws viewers into its story.