The Voyage Of The Cardinal Infante Ferdinand Of Spain From Barcelona To Genoa In April 1633, With Neptune Calming The Tempest
Gallery Text

This elaborate oil sketch, or modello, was created for the “triumphal entry” of Cardinal Infante Ferdinand into Antwerp, a spectacular procession featuring music, theater, and enormous painted tableaus enlarged from Rubens’s sketches. Cities in the Netherlands traditionally staged these events as a formal welcome for a new ruler. Ferdinand, Archbishop of Toledo and brother of King Philip IV of Spain, succeeded his late aunt, the Archduchess Isabella, as governor of the southern Netherlands. The Antwerp magistrates turned to Rubens to plan the elaborate pageant that welcomed Ferdinand into their city in January 1635. His protracted journey from Spain was delayed by storms when his fleet attempted to sail from Barcelona to Genoa. Rubens’s modello celebrates Ferdinand’s safe crossing by drawing a flattering comparison between this incident and a passage in Virgil’s Aeneid, in which Neptune rises from the sea to calm the winds threatening Aeneas’s fleet.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish (Siegen, Westphalia 1577 - 1640 Antwerp, Belgium)
The Voyage of the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand of Spain from Barcelona to Genoa in April 1633, with Neptune Calming the Tempest
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Quos Ego
Work Type
Level 2, Room 2300, European Art, 17th–19th century, Seventeenth–Century Dutch and Flemish Art
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on panel
48.9 x 64.1 cm (19 1/4 x 25 1/4 in.)
frame: 65.5 x 81 cm (25 13/16 x 31 7/8 in.)
Unidentified collector, sold; [his sale, Prestage and Hobbs, London, February 20, 1761, no. 73]. Duke of Grafton, (by 1882-1923) sold; [his sale, Christie's, London, July 13, 1923, no. 141]; to Martin Sternberg, Amsterdam (1923-1932), sold; [through Muller, Amsterdam, October 25, 1932, no. 512]; to [Cassirer]. Siegfried Kramarsky (by 1933-1942) sold; to Fogg Art Museum 1942.

1. Per exhibition label on the verso of the painting, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1882 as property of the Duke of Grafton.
2. Exhibited as property of Kramarsky in 1933.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Jan-Albert Goris and Julius S. Held, Rubens in America, Pantheon Books (New York and Antwerp, 1947), cat. no. 87, p. 40, repr. pl. 93-95

Eunice Williams, Gods & Heroes: Baroque Images of Antiquity, Wildenstein Gallery, New York (New York, NY, 1968), no. 46, repr.

Edward Waldo Forbes, Yankee Visionary, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 4

James N. Carpenter, Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1974), p. 47, cat. 8, ill.

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), no. 187, p. 164, repr.

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 48, color plate; pp. 128, 196, repr. b/w cat. no. 183

James Cuno, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, Harvard University Art Museums/Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), pp. 170-1

Ivan Gaskell, "Being True to Artists", "The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism" (February 2003), vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 53-60, pp. 54-55, repr. as fig. 1

Rubens, exh. cat. (Lille, France, 2004), p. 109, repr. as fig. 1

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 95, repr.

Nancy Kay, "Art, Music and Spectacle in the Age of Rubens", CODART Courant (Spring 2011), pp. 16-17, repr. p. 16

Ivan Gaskell, "Being True to Rubens", Art, Music, and Spectacle in the Age of Rubens: the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi, ed. Anna Knaap and Michael Putnam, Harvey Miller Publishers (London, 2013), pp. 241-260, pp. 241-260, plate 7

Exhibition History

Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/25/1974 - 06/16/1974

Calming the Tempest with Peter Paul Rubens, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/22/2001 - 03/17/2002

Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

Re-View: S426A (Large Niche) Rubens and the Baroque Festival, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 03/19/2010 - 08/28/2010

Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

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