Apparently torn from a larger sheet of several head studies.

Rubens built up a stock of such heads or 'types' throughout his career which were used as workshop tools, stimulating the composition process. This example corresponds with the head of Abraham in 'The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek', circa 1625. Complements another sketch on panel also in the museum's collection which was used for a similar purpose.


John Clark, Lord Eldin; his sale, Winstanley & Sons, Edinburgh, 1833; Sir Archibald Campbell; Sir Ilay Campbell; Christie's, London, 1974; private collection; Day & Faber, 2002.

Back to top