Rubens, his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul (c. 1639) by Peter Paul Rubens

Rubens, his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul - Peter Paul Rubens - c.1639

Artwork Information

TitleRubens, his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul
ArtistPeter Paul Rubens
MediumOil on Wood
Dimensions203.8 x 158.1 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, US

About Rubens, his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul

The artwork “Rubens, his wife Helena Fourment, and their son Peter Paul” is an oil on wood painting by Peter Paul Rubens, dating from around 1639. The piece is a self-portrait that belongs to the Baroque art movement and features a familial scene. Its dimensions are 203.8 x 158.1 cm. Presently, this notable work is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City, New York, United States.

In the artwork, Rubens is depicted alongside his second wife, Helena Fourment, and their young son, Peter Paul. Rubens stands proudly to the left, donning a black wide-brimmed hat and an elegant costume accented with a gold chain and a lush fur cloak that suggests his affluence and status. His body is angled toward his wife, suggesting a sense of intimacy and unity within the family. To his right, Helena is portrayed with a gentle yet modest gaze, her cheeks rosy with a flush that adds a warmth to her visage. She wears a luxurious black dress with a low-cut neckline, adorned with pearlescent embellishments, and her attire is complemented by delicate lace and sumptuous fabric that underscores her own social standing and the domestic prosperity of the family.

The scene is animated by the presence of their toddler son, who reaches out to his father with a gleeful and innocent expression. His attire is less formal, capturing the essence of childhood simplicity, yet he is also clearly well cared for, mirroring the family’s privileged status. In the background, a classical statue and a lively parrot perched atop a stone balustrade add diversity and depth to the composition, suggesting the family’s interest in art and the natural world. Rubens masterfully balances the personal with the grandiose, imbuing the scene with a sense of everyday elegance that is quintessential of the Baroque era’s magnificence and dynamic compositions.

Other Artwork from Peter Paul Rubens

More Baroque Artwork

Scroll to Top