- Inventory number
- Rubens, Peter Paul
- Marie de Medici, Queen of France
- Ca. 1622
- 131 cm x 108 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Real Alcázar, Madrid, Galeria del Cierzo, 1686, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Galeria del Cierzo, 1701, nº 185; Real Alcázar, Pinturas que se hallaron en las "Bobedas2 de Palacio, 1734, nº 218; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 125; Palacio Nuevo, Antecámara del señor Infante don Luis, 1772, nº 125; Palacio Nuevo pieza de librería de Apolo, 1794, nº 125; Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, Madrid, Salon 2º Escuela Flamenca, 1834, nº 386 [?])
Dressed completely in black, with a widow's headdress and simple jewelry, Marie de Medici is portrayed as the Queen Mother, after having governed France as a Reagent from 1610 to 1617.
As one of Rubens' most outstanding patrons, the queen commissioned him to decorate her Luxemburg Palace in Paris with a series of works that glorified her figure and that of her husband, Henri IV. Rubens began the present work with that end in mind, but it was left unfinished, as can be seen in the sketchy background.
This painting is paired with the portrait of Anne of Austria (P01689) and belonged belonged to the artist until his death, and was later acquired by Felipe IV.