Portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel

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Rubens made this sketch of Thomas Howard while on a diplomatic mission to England, sent by Philip IV of Spain to improve relations between the two countries. A discerning connoisseur, Howard admired and collected works by Rubens and other artists of the period. This expressive ink and wash drawing served as a study for a life-size oil portrait of Howard, now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.


Collection of G. H. (L. 1160 {as of an unknown collector, first half 18th century, perhaps Guillaume Hubert});* Jonathan Richardson Sr. (L. 2184, difficult to distinguish in left bottom corner; sale London, January 22, 1747); Thomas Hudson (L. 2432; sale London, Langford, March 15–26, 1779, no. 45, to Lord Selsey); Lord Selsey (sale London, Sotheby, 1872, to Roupell); Robert P. Roupell (L. 2234, on reverse; sale London, Christie, July 12–14, 1887, no. 1120); Private Collection, London (bought by Robert Sterling Clark, 1926).    

*"L." refers to F. Lugt, Les Marques de collections de dessins et d'estampes, Amsterdam, 1921 and Supplément, The Hague, 1956.

Peter Paul Rubens

Flemish, 1577–1640

Portrait of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel

c. 1629–30

Brush and brown ink, dark brown oil color(?), brown and gray wash, heightened with white and touches of red wash

Overall: 18 1/4 x 14 in. (46.4 x 35.6 cm)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1926




Haverkamp-Begemann, Egbert, Standish D. Lawder, and Charles W. Talbot, Jr. Drawings from the Clark Art Institute: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Robert Sterling Clark Collection of European and American Drawings, Sixteenth Through Nineteenth Centuries, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 2 volumes. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964.