circle of Peter Paul Rubens, Called Vengeful Centurion

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Called Vengeful Centurion
The Music Room
Medium and support
Oil on panel
Overall height: 45 cm, Overall width: 36.5 cm
circle of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Catalogue Number


This fragment has been cut down from a larger panel that probably featured a dramatic biblical or historical scene similar to those painted by Peter Paul Rubens, such as The Rape of the Sabine Women (National Gallery, London, NG 38). The helmet with its scarlet plume resembles those worn by the Vatican’s Swiss Guards. Known as a ‘morion’, this type of helmet originated in Spain and was worn throughout Europe between the mid-sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Similar helmets appear in many of Rubens’s paintings. The oil-on-panel medium indicates a Northern European origin and the unknown artist was probably Dutch and a follower of Rubens. No reference to this painting or its original larger version appears in any of the Raynham inventories and its provenance remains unknown.

by Amy Lim

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