Inventory number
P01687
Author
Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish)
Title
Cardinal-Infante Fernando de Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Chronology
1635-1640
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
337,5 cm x 261 cm
School
Flamenca
Theme
Retrato
On display
Yes
Provenance
Colección Real (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 101; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, paso de tribuna y trascuartos, 1772, nº 101; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, pieza de comer, 1794, nº 101; Palacio Real, Madrid, pieza de comer, 1814-1818, nº 101).

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background.

Rubens painted this work in Brussels after the Infante arrived to take on the position of Governor of the Low Countries. The artist opted for a highly intense image in which the Cardinal's serenity contrasts with his mount's agitation. The horse's posture is customary in many equestrian portraits and is a visual metaphor of the strength and capacities of this ruler, whose virtues are related in the cartouche at the bottom.

This work was acquired by Felipe IV and was in Madrid's Alcázar Palace by 1666.

 
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