Collection online

drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    SL,5237.77

  • Description

    A hawking party; three hunters, one on horseback and two ladies in slashed sleeves, both mounted, one of the ladies with her arm around a huntsman, another huntsman holding a hawk; retouched by Rubens around 1630 Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, heightened with white (partly oxidised), over black chalk, on buff prepared paper; overlaid onto another sheet of principally black chalk, with brown wash, heightened with white, on buff prepared paper

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1528-1531 (c.)
    • 1630 (c.)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 223 millimetres
    • Width: 264 millimetres (original sheet)
    • Height: 401 millimetres
    • Width: 308 millimetres (made up section)
  • Curator's comments

    Hind felt that Rubens had copied this from "some earlier works" but that it was fully by his hand. Rowlands points out that the drawing is by Van Orley (linking it to a set of tapestries) but that it has been enlarged and retouched by Rubens. Comparable figures appear in a tapestry, "Le bat l'eau", representing the month of September, from a series of the Months designed by Van Orley and his workshop (known as 'Les belles chasses de Maximilian'). Literature: Hind, 32; A.E. Popham, 'OMD', I, 1926-27, p.45ff.; A.E. Popham, 'Dutch and Flemish Drawings in the British Museum', V, 1932, p.227, no.4A; K.L. Belkin, Corpus Rubenianum, XXVI, 2009, no.121 (as by Van Orley or his workshop, retouched by Rubens c.1630).

    Rowlands, Rubens: Drawings and Sketches, BMP, 1977
    A sixteenth-century drawing, executed on a square piece of paper, has been enlarged to the left and below on an L-shaped piece by a later artist, who is undoubtedly Rubens. The original agrees in reverse with a group of figures in a tapestry called 'Le bat l'eau', representing the month of September, from a series illustrating the months, known as 'Les belles chasses de Maximilian', designed by van Orley, and a team of collaborators, including Jan Tons, Jacob Tseraerts, Jan van Coninxloo and Pieter Coecke van Aelst.
    A set of this series of tapestries is preserved at the Louvre as well as a complete set of preliminary drawings for them, all executed by van Orley himself in the same sense as the tapestries. These drawings are not in any respect cartoons, as these would, apart from the discrepancy of size, have to be in reverse. The cartoons, kept by van Orley's descendants, were destroyed in a French bombardment of Brussels in 1695 (see R. A. d'Hulst, 'Tapisseries Flamandes du XVIe au XVIIIe Siècle', 1960, no.20).
    In its original condition, before retouching and enlargement by Rubens, the drawing was evidently the only surviving fragment from an intermediate stage in the design of the tapestries, probably executed by van Orley himself. Another group of drawings, the same size as the drawings in the Louvre, which could be the remnants of another set have been variously described as copies and originals. Of these certainly the drawing at Budapest and the newly discovered 'June' at Berlin are lively sketches and it is most probable that these and the two at Leiden, one of which is of 'September', are also by van Orley.
    On another occasion it appears Rubens was stimulated by a tapestry design of van Orley's (see L. von Baldass, 'Die Wiener Gobelinsammlung', 1920, pl. 12). This interest we find reflected in a burial scene on the verso of a drawing of 'Studies of St Gregory and St Domitilla', formerly in the collection of Ludwig Burchard (Burchard-d'Hulst, 26r, and v.).

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  • Bibliography

    • Corpus Rubenianum XXVI.1 121 bibliographic details
    • Hind 1915-31 32 bibliographic details
    • Popham (D & F) 1932 4(a) bibliographic details
    • Rowlands 1977 49 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Flemish Roy XVIIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1977 BM, 'Rubens drawings and sketches', no.49 2004 Mar-Jun, Antwerp, Rubenshuis, 'Rubens the Collector'
    2012 Apr-Aug, UAE, Abu Dhabi. Treasures

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1753

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    SL,5237.77

  • Additional IDs

    • A,22.77
A hawking party; three hunters, one on horseback and two ladies in slashed sleeves, both mounted, one of the ladies with her arm around a huntsman, another huntsman holding a hawk; retouched by Rubens around 1630 Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, heighte

A hawking party; three hunters, one on horseback and two ladies in slashed sleeves, both mounted, one of the ladies with her arm around a huntsman, another huntsman holding a hawk; retouched by Rubens around 1630 Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, heighte

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Object reference number: PDO12579

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