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Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of a Woman, possibly Clara Fourment (1593-1643), c. 1630

This woman is probably Clara Fourment from Antwerp, and her husband Peter van Hecke is hanging on the left. They belonged to Rubens’ intimate family circle, as Clara was the elder sister of Rubens’ second wife Hélène. The couple clearly live in comfort, in view of their fashionable clothing of shiny black fabrics and fine lace collars, and Clara’s ostrich feather fan.

Rubens was the leading Flemish painter of the seventeenth century. His flamboyant, baroque style influenced a whole generation of artists after him.

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