Rus Articles Journal

Rubens and Maria de Medici. The artist and the queen - what connected them?

Everything that is written below - an imagination fruit. But imagination, factual...

In 1600 Rubens arrives to Mantua, to the yard of the duke Vincenzo Gonzaga, then on the instructions of the employer goes to Rome, to Venice, to Florence where makes copies from pictures of the glorified artists.

Rubens is 23 years old, he is young, beautiful, charming, is not married, lonely. It is presented to all yards of governors as the artist and as the expert on antiquities. It seems that its personal advantages caused to it sympathies of all people around. Undoubtedly, and women whom it had to meet by the nature of duties.

Unfortunately, the works written till 1609 are available to a review only in insignificant part. At its speed of work it had to give hundreds of cloths and drawings in 9 years of work. Where all this now?

Florence. The Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando I has not old wife (something under 40) and the pupil - the niece, the daughter of the elder brother Maria de Medici (25 years). She is not bad itself probably misses.

What is the time Rubens carried out at court of Ferdinando - it is unknown. In 1600 Maria is married to Henry IV, and Rubens is present at wedding ceremony.

“Peyresk - to Rubens
Paris. On October 27, 1622 [ital.]
the Dearest Signor.
... I with pleasure learned that you were present when wedding the Queen - Mothers in del Fyore Santa Maria...“

the Court painter Dzhakopo Chimenti imprinted this event - and in his picture at Maria the tummy accurately appears! And its existence is emphasized with gesture of the pregnant woman who calms the fruit moving in a belly!

It is natural to ask: and why Chimenti did not “correct“ a figure? Possibly, for this purpose there were several reasons. The first - everything was so obvious that withdrawal from reality could have unpredictable consequences for the artist. The second - a man`s environment could not suspect about the true situation just owing to the fact that communication with a female half in such families was not very close and everyday. Therefore slightly grown plump maiden could not draw upon herself questions of the happened completeness. Recovered - and recovered!

Maria so hurried to the spouse that arrived to Marseille all in a month after this event (how many it was possible to make in a month!) . And then there passed a month more until she saw the lascivious spouse.
Thank God, she became pregnant almost at once. And in the put time gave birth to Louis XIII.

And further - events take an interesting turn. Rubens remained in Italy till 1609, after return to Antwerp married Isabella Brandt, created pictures and children. Isabella died in 1626. It is possible to assume that she long and a serious illness had (judging by a portrait of 1621).

In 1622 Maria Medici decides to create to herself a monument - to build the palace and to decorate it with history of the life. At this time it already had a circle of artists who painted her portrait and decorated its life (them mentions Pereysk in the letters to Rubens). But the queen remembered Rubens.

It is unlikely she forgot the young handsome who appeared about it 20 just over years back. She invites him, they make the list of pictures which Rubens has to write, describe in detail the maintenance of each picture.

Rubens begins work with sketches, with sketches. The queen on these etudes looks very unattractively. The short fat neck, the second chin, thick cheeks which swam away eyes, a glassy look... the truth, a mouth did not touch an old age yet.

But a bit later, in the same 1622 Maria Medici`s portrait appears. The blossoming charming woman! Who could think that with such ruthless sketches it is possible to write so charming portrait?!

It made impression on Maria. It even began to collect sketches which to it were transferred by Rubens, with intention to make something like an album.

“He told me that the Queen has a casket where she holds all drawings and plans of the palace and all images relating to it, up to ornaments, a stucco molding and breakdown of a garden and that she wants to add the collection of all drawings of your pictures which are carefully finished and in a full order bound in one book there“. (Pereysk - to Rubens, on September 15, 1622; “He“ is an abbot Saint Ambroise).

Besides, in the Luxembourg palace for Rubens released apartments just over the queen`s rooms.

Rubens continues work on gallery. Maria - in different types, in a different environment. But the most interesting, from my point of view, the moment - representation of the bride`s portrait to Henry IV. As Maria is magnificent! Heinrich even rolled up eyes from pleasure!

But also it is not all: it is very similar to a portrait which was drawn till 1600 in Italy. Perhaps, Maria brought with herself the copy or the original. And maybe, Rubens also remembered its such?

Work on gallery progresses, Rubens brings to the queen on viewing the written cloths. Maria - is excited: nobody ever drew it as it was made by Rubens.

Here a fragment from the letter of Pereysk:
“Peyresk - Guidi di Bagno
Paris, on June 16, 1623 [ital.]
At last the Queen - Mother specially arrived from Fontainebleau to see mister Rubens`s pictures. She was satisfied excessively, called it the first in its art from all people on light and treated it with the greatest favor“.

At all favor of the queen Rubens does not receive from it the promised payment (in any case, in the stipulated terms). He repeatedly mentions it in letters. Whether so it was actually, or these complaints were cover of communication of the artist and queen?

Really if to see the portraits written by Rubens not all from them breathe such charm as the queen`s portraits. Its works shine only when at the artist - special (it is possible to tell safely - fallen in love) the relation to model.

Work on gallery of Medici lasted three years - from 1622 to 1625. Rubens plied between Antwerp and Paris. He took away the approved sketches, brought ready cloths.

This series of pictures had to have a continuation glorifying Henry IV, but Maria Medici lost the power, and continuation was not.

On combination of circumstances the queen expelled at the end of the life from France died in Rubens`s house in Cologne (in this house Rubens spent the childhood). Here in such mystical way the ring of events became isolated.

So was or was not? Pictures speak - was!