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ID number:  BIRBI-99.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of a Carmelite prior
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Antwerp
Culture:  Flemish
Date made:  about 1616/7
Materials:  Oil on wood
Measurements:  79.5 x 65.5 cm
Provenance:  Syners sale, Antwerp, 1758; The Rev. William Sawrey, Rector of Elford (probably by gift of the 12th Earl of Suffolk), around 1760; thence to succeeding Rectors, John Sneyd and F. E. Paget; Agatha Paget; Salisbury Paget; Sotheby's, 1950, purchased by Agnew's; Lord Plunket from 1951; Purchased in 1999 with financial assistance from the National Art Collections Fund and the Friends of the Barber Institute.

A man dressed in the austere habit of the Carmelite order prays in front of a crucifix. The order was dedicated to contemplative prayer. The man’s identity is not known, but his rapt gaze and the sympathetic treatment of his hands suggest a sincere and deep faith.

The portrait may date from 1616 when the great Flemish artist Rubens was painting a large altarpiece for a Carmelite church in Brussels. The artist himself was devout and he painted a number of portraits of ecclesiastics.

Notes:  'Flemish Art 1300-1700', Royal Academy, London, 1953, no. 165; 'Sir Geoffrey Agnew, 1908-1986, Dealer and Connoisseur, a loan exhibition', Thomas Agnew's Galleries, London, 1988.

1 Related People

Rubens, Peter Paul

1 Related Publications

Corpus Rubenianum
Vlieghe, H.

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