- Museum number
Portrait of Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), Flemish scholar, study for a print; half-length, slightly to left, with beard and moustache, wearing a ruff and fur collar, surrounded by a border with wreath, cornucopia filled with fruit, flaming torches and a winged helmet above, an inscribed plinth below. c.1615
Black chalk, with pen and brown ink, the border in pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash, over black chalk, with piece overlaid
- Production date
- 1615 (circa)
Height: 230 millimetres
Width: 185 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Design for the engraving, in reverse, by Cornelis Galle, included in Lipsius's edition of Seneca's works published by the Plantin press in 1615. BM impressions of print: 1891,0414.1001; 1983,U.2850 and R,1b.154 .
Literature: G. White, 'P.P. Rubens', 1987, pp.145-46, fig.165.
Rowlands, Rubens: Drawings and Sketches, BMP 1977
The sitter, Justus Lipsius, was a famous Flemish scholar and leading exponent of a modern stoic philosophy. He attempted to embrace and reconcile the ever increasing divisions in thought and religion in his day. In his search for a solution his restless moves from one sect to another of Christianity are not without considerable significance. Through his brother Philip, who was a pupil of Lipsius, Rubens adopted much of the Stoic outlook, which, in any case, harmonised well with his temperament. He was for moderation in all things, nothing to excess.
This design is for the engraving, in reverse, by Cornelis Galle, included in Lipsius's edition of Seneca's works published by the Plantin press in 1615 (see 1891,0414.1001). Lipsius's edition of the works of the Roman rhetorician, dramatist and philosopher was long to remain the standard one. The influence of Seneca's philosophical thought in the post-classical world reached its peak in Lipsius's own writings.
As with all his other portraits of Lipsius, Rubens based it on that, now lost, of the philosopher by Abraham Janssens.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1974 July-Dec, BM, 'Portrait Drawings', no.87
1977 BM, 'Rubens drawings and sketches', no.213
2004 Mar-Jun, Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 'Rubens - Universel'
2005 Jun-Oct, Augsburg, Stadt Augsburg, Kunstsammlungen, 'Pax Augustana:...'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number