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Peter Paul Rubens | Study of Two Heads, 1609

Artist: Peter Paul Rubens🎨 (Flemish Baroque Era painter, 1577-1640)
Title: Study of Two Heads
Date: ca. 1609
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: Height: 69.9 cm (27.5 in); Width: 52.1 cm (20.5 in)
Current location: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rubens painted studies of heads after live models and artistic sources, creating a cast of characters that served in turn as models for figures in religious and mythological works.

The main figure here became a saint in a great altarpiece of 1609, a high priest in 1612, and a river god, then Plato (in an engraving after Rubens) in about 1615.
The other head, derived from one by Mantegna🎨, had a similar but shorter family tree. Rubens’s disciples Jacob Jordaens and especially Van Dyck🎨 followed the same practice. | © The Metropolitan Museum of Art