- Reference number
- Brueghel “the Elder”, Jan; Rubens, Peter Paul
- Archduke Alberto de Austria
- Ca. 1615
- 113,5 cm x 177,5 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Real Alcázar, Madrid, bóvedas que caen a la Priora-piezas pequeñas de las Bóvedas que salen a la Priora, 1686, [nº 771]; Real Alcázar, Madrid, piezas pequeñas de las bóvedas que salen a la Priora, 1700, nº 428; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 98; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, piezas que siguen al casón, 1772, nº 98; Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 436; Palacio Real, Madrid, secretaría de Estado, 1814-1818, nº 436).
Alberto de Austria, the sovereign prince of the Low Countries, is dressed in black and sits under a canopy indicating that this is a court portrait. Unlike the customary indoor portraits, this one is set on a balcony open to a landscape that includes Tervuren Palace, near Brussels. This portrait, and that of his wife, Isabel Clara (P01684), seeks not only to bring out the figure of the Archduke, but also to emphasize the rulers' ties to their lands. At the same time, the palace, which was the former residence of the Duke and Duchess of Brabante, represents dynastic continuity.
The combination of official portrait and landscape stems from Rubens collaboration with Jan Brueghel, in which the former made the figures and the latter, the landscape and architecture. This work was made in the second decade of the seventeenth century, when the two artists worked most closely together.
This painting was probably brought to Spain for the collection of Rodrigo Calderón, Marquis of Siete Iglesias. When he died in 1621, it passed to Felipe IV.