The way the composition is divided into two levels in this oil sketch entitled The Victory of Henry IV at Coutras indicate that it was a companion piece to the oil sketch entitled Occasio. In the foreground sitting facing each other are Virtus and Honor as personified allegories. Virtus, the brave warrior, wears a helmet and is seated on a globe. Opposite her, Honor, a semi-clothed youth wearing a laurel wreath in his hair, is sitting on a piece of armour. In the upper part of the wooden panel is a battle scene taking place on a bridge which is framed by a cartouche decorated with putti and festoons. The legend under the "mouth" of the cartouche reads "bataille De Cout […]" and refers to the victory won by Henry IV of France at Coutras on 20 October 1587. The battle scene in the cartouche is not by Rubens but was copied from a drawing by Van Dyck, today at Chatsworth. This oil sketch may have been painted in 1628 in connection with a commission Rubens had received in 1622 from Maria de’ Medici, the French queen mother, to execute paintings for two galleries in the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, of which one was to be devoted to the life of Henry IV. This oil sketch was probably part of a set of designs for a series of tapestries on the same theme which were to be hung in an antechamber to one of the galleries.
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Peter Paul Rubens
The Victory of Henry IV at Coutras, 1628
Oil on panel
height 64 cm, width 50 cm
Inv.-No. GE101
Provenance: presumably acquired by Prince Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein before 1712; identified for the first time as a fideicommissum by the seal of 1733
Further works on display
Decius Mus relating his dream, 1616/1617
Decius Mus preparing for Death, 1616/1617
The Death of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Obsequies of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Dismissal of the Lictors, 1616/1617
The Interpretation of the Victim, 1616/1617
The Trophy, 1616/1617
The Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1637
Venus in Front of the Mirror, 1614/1615
Oil sketch of Mars and Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
Mars und Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
The Discovery of the Infant Erichthonius, c. 1616
Satyr and Maid with Fruit Basket, 1615
The Lamentation, c. 1612
Christ Triumphant over Sin and Death, 1615/1622
Double Portrait of Albert and Nikolaus Rubens, c. 1626/1627
Portrait of Jan Vermoelen, 1616
Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, c. 1616
Henry IV seizes the Opportunity to conclude Piece, 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
Four Music-Making Angels, on the reverse side of St Anne, 1615/1620
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
Related themes
Rubens in Wien
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