Rubens by Hollar
By HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] [after Peter Paul RUBENS] , 1644

Peter Paul Rubens Petrvs Pavlvs Rvbenivs

Art & Architecture
  • Author: HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] [after Peter Paul RUBENS]
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Frans van den Wyngaerde
  • Publication date: 1644–52
  • Physical description: Engraved portrait, trimmed to neatline.
  • Dimensions: 241 by 182mm. (9.5 by 7.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18246


Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens had executed a self-portrait when he was 50, which was subsequently re-engraved and published by numerous printmakers. Wenceslaus Hollar produced a version in the mid-seventeenth century, probably based on David Huatt’s from c1730. It shows the bust of Rubens wearing a wide-brimmed hat and slashed doublet with a floaty collar. The image is set within an ornate oval frame decorated paintbrushes and palettes. Beneath the portrait are lines that also appeared on Huatt’s print:

“Excellentissimus Dns D. Petrus Paulus Rubenius pictorum Apelles, decus huius saeculi, orbis miraculum, Aulam Hispanicam, Gallicam, Anglicam, Belgicam penicillo suo illustravit. Quem gladio donavit Philippus Quartus Hispaniarum, et statuit sibi a Secretis in sanctiore suo consilio Bruxellensi, ac iam ad Regem Anglicae Legatum extraordinarium misit.”

‘The most excellent Sir Peter Paul Rubens, the Apelles of painters, the glory of this age; with his brush he illustrated the marvel of the world, the court of Spain, of France, of England, of Belgium. Philip the Fourth of Spain knighted him, and placed him as the private secretary of his honoured council at Brussels, and then sent him an special ambassador to the King of England.’


  1. NHG Hollar 1239 I
  2. Pennington 1498
  3. BM 3.237.