Portrait of Osbert Sitwell
- Art Funded
- 19 x 15 cm
- Bequeathed by
- Thomas Balston through The Art Fund
Nominally inspired by Lucretius' De rerum natura, Piero di Cosimo's The Forest Fire takes its scientific subject and embellishes it with fantastical creatures from the artist's imagination: Bulls, bears, lions and deer-like creatures with human faces all flee wearily from a fire.
Rubens' portrait of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel dates from about 1629. The Earl was a great collector, and Rubens had painted the earl's wife a few years earlier on a visit to Antwerp. This drawing in pen and ink with a chalk base is unusually informal, reflecting perhaps the comfortable relationship between artist and patron.