Peter Paul Rubens - Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, about 1629-1630

Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, Germany, 1577 - 1640, Antwerp, Belgium)

Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, about 1629-1630

Oil on canvas, 122.2 x 102.1 cm (48 1/8 x 40 3/16 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Probably commissioned by the sitter, Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (1585-1646), London; Arundel Castle, Sussex, about 1629-30.
Collection of the artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) until the time of his death.
Collection of Francis Greville, 1st Earl of Warwick (1719-1773), and Countess Elizabeth Hamilton (d. 1800), London; Warwick Castle, Warwick by 1763.
By descent to George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746–1816), London; Warwick Castle, Warwick, about 1773.
By descent to Henry Richard Greville, 3rd Earl of Warwick (1779–1853), Warwick Castle, Warwick, about 1816
By descent to George Guy Greville, 4th Earl of Warwick (1818–1893); Warwick Castle, Warwick, about 1853.
By descent to Francis Richard Charles Guy Greville, 5th Earl of Warwick (1853-1924); Warwick Castle, Warwick, about 1893.
Purchased by the art dealers Colnaghi & Co., London from Francis Richard Charles Guy Greville in 1898.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from Colnaghi & Co., London for £21,000 in March 1898, through the American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865–1959).

Dimension Notes

Frame: 173 x 142.7 cm (68 1/8 x 56 3/16 in.) approx.


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Rubens was one of the most illustrious painters in the history of Western art. Perpetually on the road, he served four European rulers, including Charles I of England. Rubens painted this portrait of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel, at the height of his professional career. Because Arundel acquired art on a princely scale, he was given the nickname “the collector earl.”

Gardner herself paid a princely sum for this Rubens, making it her single most expensive acquisition after Titian’s Rape of Europa. Berenson, knowing that this painting would be another major addition to her collection, wrote to her, “you now have one of the great Titians; Arundel will be a match for it.”


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