Portrait of the artist’s wife 1

The Eclectic Light Company

Painting portraits is lucrative if dangerous. Striking the right balance between faithfulness and flattering the sitter can’t be easy, and on more than one occasion has got the painter into deep trouble. It takes an even braver artist to paint the portrait of the person they know best, their partner, historically almost always the wife. This weekend, in this article and its sequel tomorrow, I show some of my favourite portraits of the artist’s wife, and a couple of husbands too.

rubensartistwife Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Honeysuckle Bower (The Artist and His Wife) (1609-10), oil on oak, 178 x 136.5 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany. Wikimedia Commons.

When Peter Paul Rubens married for the first time, to Isabella Brant in the autumn of 1609, he painted this touching celebration, the Honeysuckle Bower, which was the closest that he could come to the modern wedding photo of bride and groom. Honeysuckle was…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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