Saturday 11 May 2024

Portraits of Van Dyck and Rubens by Erasmus Quellinus.



 The Double Portrait Grisaille of Van Dyck and Rubens by Erasmus Quellinus.


This double portrait was formerly attributed to Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1599-1675).

This painting has now been returned to Chatsworth after an absence of more than 40 years.

This post has been prompted by the recent article in the online "The Art Newspaper"

see -

I first published this painting in my blog on 8th November 2015.

This was part of an ongoing, in depth project researching the Statuettes of Rubens, van Dyck and du Quesnoy sculpted in London by Michael Rysbrack in 1747 which I had posted in a series of 32 on line illustrated essays. see - etc.

The painting was stolen in a smash and grab raid from the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne on 26 May 1979 where it had been on loan for an exhibition which focused on the works of Anthony van Dyck.

I was contacted by Dr Bert Schepers, Senior researcher and editor Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard Centrum Rubenianum vzw | Kolveniersstraat 20 | B–2000 Antwerp on 27 November 2020

 Bert Schepers had seen the painting on line and had discovered the theft alert in my blog post of 8 November 2015.

Bert Schepers was Senior researcher and editor at Corpus Rubenianum, Ludwig Burchard Centrum Rubenianum vzw | Kolveniersstraat 20 | B–2000 Antwerp, Belgium.

The grisaille was being offered by Hôtel des Ventes de Toulon in their 12th December 2020 sale:

Screen shot below.

Above is the screen shot of the on line sale catalogue taken by Dr Bert Schepers and sent by e mail to myself and the Curatorial department at Chatsworth on 27th November 2020.

As I was, at the time involved in a serious on going house restoration project, once I was sure that the Curatorial staff at Chatsworth had been informed by Dr Bert Schepers of the sale in Toulon I put it aside and thought no more of it until I received the alert from the Art Newspaper 10 May this year.


The Double Portraits of Van Dyck and Rubens formerly attributed to Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1599-1675).

But the engraving by Paulus Pontius in the Rijksmuseum makes it plain that the original was by Erasmus Quellinus. (see image of the engraving below).

Oil on wood panel -

Size approx. 12 x 17 inches.

© Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth.


Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.

 I am extremely grateful to Diane Naylor, photo librarian at Chatsworth who provided me with this image.

 I would also like to thank Charles Noble, Curator of the Devonshire Collection for his communications and for his facilitating my obtaining this image.


It should be noted that although the original had been attributed in the past to van Diepenbeeck it was very obviously adapted for the engraving by Paulus Pontius from the original by Erasmus Quellin.


Peter Paul Rubens and  Anthony van Dyck.

The Engraving by Paulus Pontius (Paulus Du Pont).


After the original by Erasmus Quellinus (1607 - 78).

The Original Portraits by Sir Anthony van Dyck.

Line engraving, mid 17th century.

 347 mm x 448 mm.


The image above originally came from the Google Art Project in 2015.


Here below is the same engraving with titles from the Rijksmuseum website -

Size - height 355 mm × width 451 mm.

For many more  images by or after Erasmus Quellinus see -


Another Grisaille by Erasmus Quellinus.

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). As Minerva.

 Grisaille, oil on board.

 245 x 190 mm.

 Monogramed EQ on the book beneath the owl.

 Erasmus Quellinus.

 Commissioned in 1649 by the Swedish Ambassador Le Blon.


The existence of this grisaille perhaps suggests that there was an original of the bust depicted. Possibly a lost work by his brother Artus Quellinus.


For the Images of Queen Christina see -

The Dissertation of Nathan Allan Popp, University of Iowa.

 He was not aware of the Grissaille above.


For an excellent and very in depth study of Erasmus Quellinus see

Erasme Quellin, dans le sillage de Rubens. Musee de Flandre, Exhibition Catalogue. 2014.

In it there is a very interesting chapter written by Alain Jacobs - La Sculture dans L'ouevre Peint d' Erasme Quellin.


For a good overview of the career and networks of Erasmus Quellinus see -


Erasmus Quellinus.(1607 - 1678).

The Peter de Jode Engraving of the Erasmus Quellinus Self Portrait.



Self-portrait of Erasmus Quellinus with his wife Catherina de Hemelaer and son Jan Erasmus.

Cincinnati Art Museum.

Erasmus Quellinus the Younger or Erasmus Quellinus II (November 19, 1607 – November 11, 1678) was a Flemish painter, engraver, draughtsman and tapestry designer who worked in various genres including history, portrait, allegorical, battle and animal paintings. 

He was a pupil of Peter Paul Rubens and one of the closest collaborators of Rubens in the 1630s. 

Following Rubens' death in 1640 he became one of the most successful painters in Flanders.

He was the brother of sculptor Artus Quellinus (1609 - 68). I had the extraordinary good fortune of being involved in the purchase, research, restoration and sale in 2015 of a terracotta relief of Arion, a maquette for a large scale marble relief of Arion by Artus Quellinus now in the Detroit Institute of Art. 

The discovery of the engraving of the relief by brother Hubertus Quellinus (1619 -87) was instrumental in my identifying the terracotta relief. see -

see also my post -

For more on Erasmus and Artus Quellinus see -


No comments:

Post a Comment