- Museum number
Portrait of a boy about four years old, traditionally called portrait of Rubens's son Frans, but 17th century inscription on verso describes it as Prince William, later William II, Prince of Orange; half length, nearly profile left, his right hand on breast, close-fitting white cap surmounted by a black cap and feathers
Black chalk washed with brown and heightened with white
- Production date
Height: 309 millimetres
Width: 193 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing was has been attirbuted to Van Dyck and taken to represent Prince William of Orange. However, Popham arugued for the attributed to Rubens and put forward the possibility that it may depict Rubens' son Frans. This attribution was founded on account of a similar drawing (possibly a copy in reverse?) described in the sale catalogue of Jacob de Vos, Amsterdam, Roos et al., 22-24 May 1883, lot 451 as 'Pierre Paul Rubens - Le fils du maître - Le joli garçon, âgé d'environ quatre ans, est représenté à mi-corps, vu de profil, dirigé à droite. ... Le graveur Blooteling a buriné ce portrait, dans le sens inverse du dessin ... Superbe dessin, esquissé à la pierre noire et terminé au lavid d'encre de Chine. Signé en toutes lettres. Sur le revers une annotation de l'époque: "het soontje van P.P. Rubbens". Collection du Marquis de Lagoy - Thomas Lawrence'. The asspciation with Thomas Lawrence might conversely support the attribution to Van Dyck given the Arundel's longstanding patronage of the younger artist. It is also possible that the study is an anonymous copy after a lost work by either Rubens or Van Dyck.
Lit: A E Popham, 'Drawings by Rubens and Van Dyck from the National Gallery', in British Museum Quarterly X (1935), pp.13-14, where the attributions to Van Dyck and Rubens and the possible identity of the sitter are discussed.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This drawing along with fourteen others by Rubens and his assistants, originally purchased by the National Gallery from Sir Robert Peel in 1871, was deposited on loan to the Department of Prints and Drawings by the National Gallery in 1935 and formally transferred in 1994.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1972,U.1317
Miscellaneous number: NG.853.h