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Drawing - Maria de’ Medici (1573–1642)
  • Maria de’ Medici (1573–1642)
    Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640
  • Enlarge image

Maria de’ Medici (1573–1642)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1622 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Black chalk with touches of red chalk heightened with white on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Dalton Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, room 88a, case East Wall

Physical description

A study for the head of the Queen in 'The Majority of Louis XIII' in the Louvre (Rosenberg 258).

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1622 (made)


Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Black chalk with touches of red chalk heightened with white on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Monsu Bernardo discepo di Rambrand dubito che fusse David Bex Suedese da il Gondonleve [?] & Christina Regina di Suetia. Monsu Maleville [?] lo chiamo [?] di Rubbens & Maria de Medici in Parigi.


Height: 341 mm, Width: 246 mm

Object history note

Note: In the collection of Lord Somers, ca. 1700. Monsu Bernardo mentioned in the inscription was Bernhard Keil (1624-1687), while David Bex refers to the Dutch artist David Beck (1621-1656), who in 1647 was appointed court painter to Queen Christina and in 1653 was working in Rome under the pseudonym Gulden Szepter. See F. Lugt Notes sur Rubens in La Gazette des Beaux Arts, vol XII, 1925, pp. 179-202, and Gluck and Haberditzl, catalogue no. and plate 151, where the date of the drawing is given as 1622. See Rowlans No. 153 (p.112)

Descriptive line

Drawing; A study for the head of Maria de’ Medici (1573–1642), in the "Majority of Louis XIII"; by Peter Paul Rubens; Black chalk with touches of red chalk heightened with white, Flemish School, c.1622

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jane Shoaf Turner and Christopher White, Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014, vol.II, Cat.526

Exhibition History

Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640): The Drawings (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 01/01/2001-03/04/2005)
Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640): The Drawings (Albertina, Vienna 05/12/2004-31/12/2009)

Labels and date

Rubens drew this portrait study of the French Queen Mother for an important cycle of twenty-four paintings depicting her life. Preparatory studies like this were not definitive but could be altered in the final composition. Here Maria’s head is raised but in the finished painting titled The Majority of Louis XIII (now in the Louvre, Paris), she bows her head deferentially before her son the King.


Paper; Chalk; Opaque White



Subjects depicted

Marie de Medici (Queen of France)



Production Type


Collection code


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