All About Helene Fourment with her Children by Peter Paul Rubens


Title of Artwork: “Helene Fourment with her Children”

All About Helene Fourment with her Children by Peter Paul Rubens

Artwork by Peter Paul Rubens

Year Created 1636 – 1637

Summary of Helene Fourment with her Children

Peter Paul Rubens’ c.1636 picture of his second wife Helena Fourment and their children Frans (b. 12 July 1633) and Clara Johanna (b. 18 January 1632) depicts Helena holding Frans and Clara Johanna standing to her left. Since then, it has been housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where it is on display.

All About Helene Fourment with her Children

The oil on canvas painting has a size of 1.15 m x 0.85 m.

This is a portrait of Pierre Paul Rubens’ second wife, Hélène Fourment (1614-1673). When she married the painter in 1630, she was just 16 years old, whereas he was 53 years old at the time of the wedding because of the death of his first wife. Frans and Clara-Johanna (born in 1632 and 1633, respectively) surround her (born in 1633).

Hélène Fourment, Frans’ mother, appears in the middle of the picture in a modest white dress. The viewer is the focus of the latter’s gaze. As she stands to the left of her mother and brother, Clara-Johanna keeps her gaze fixed on them.

Isabelle, born in 1635, is depicted in a pentimento between the heads of Frans and Clara-Johanna. It’s also worth noting that some colours — like the blue in the upper right corner — have never been entirely applied. Thus, Rubens leaves behind a work that is not really finished.

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