PETER PAUL RUBENS
FOUR MUSIC-MAKING ANGELS, ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF ST ANNE
Like its pendant (GE 136) this panel shows a group of music playing angels. The paintingis for the most part taken up by an organ-playing angel and his instrument. Partly obscured by his wing, a second angel is playing a violin. In front of the latter sits a pair of naked putti with a book of music.

On the back of each panel is a smooth, plain semicircular niche, with a simulated stone sculpture standing in front of each, respectively. These have been interpreted as the parents of the Virgin Mary, Joachim and Anne. The feet of the figures were lost when the panels were cut off at the bottom, probably in order to remove an inscription or cartouche with a coat of arms found below the picture on the front.

During recent restoration of the panels it was discovered that the figure of St. Anne originally had two attributes, a cup and an eagle. The figure was evidently first designed as a St. John and was then fundamentally reinterpreted during its further formation.
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Peter Paul Rubens
Four Music-Making Angels, on the reverse side of St Anne, 1615/1620
Oil on canvas
height 212 cm, width 98 cm
Inv.-No. GE139
Provenance: acquired by Prince Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein in 1710 from the Antwerp merchant Jan Peeter van Bredael
Further works on display
Portrait of Jan Vermoelen, 1616
Double Portrait of Albert and Nikolaus Rubens, c. 1626/1627
Decius Mus relating his dream, 1616/1617
The Interpretation of the Victim, 1616/1617
Decius Mus preparing for Death, 1616/1617
The Dismissal of the Lictors, 1616/1617
The Death of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Obsequies of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Trophy, 1616/1617
The Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1637
The Lamentation, c. 1612
The Discovery of the Infant Erichthonius, c. 1616
Oil sketch of Mars and Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
Venus in Front of the Mirror, 1614/1615
Mars und Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
Christ Triumphant over Sin and Death, 1615/1622
Satyr and Maid with Fruit Basket, 1615
Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, c. 1616
Henry IV seizes the Opportunity to conclude Piece, 1628
The Victory of Henry IV at Coutras, 1628
The Consecration of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Obsequies of Decius Mus
Three Music-Making Angels, on the reverse side of St Joachim, 1615/1620
St. Catherine in the Clouds, 1620/1621
Apollo in the Chariot of the Sun, 1621/1625
The Conversion of St. Paul, 1601/1602
Perseus and Andromeda
The Virgin adorned with flowers, 1609/1610
Psyche taken up into Olympus, 1621
Landscape with Milkmaids and Cows, 1616
Allegory of war, 1628
The Hunt of Meleager and Atalanta, 1628 (?)
The Assumption of the Virgin, modello, 1637
Ganymede, 1611/1612
Diana´s Hunt, 1628
St. Francis of Assisi before the Crucified Christ, 1625
Portrait of a Monk (?)
Adoration of the Magi, 1609/1610
The Visitation, 1611/1612
Portrait of Nicolaas Rockox, 1615
Samson and Delilah, c. 1610
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Rubens in Wien
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