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, lot 73]. Duke of Grafton, (by 1882-1923) sold; [his sale, Christie's, London, July 13, 1923, lot 141]; to Martin Sternberg, Amsterdam (1923-1932), sold; [through Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, October 25, 1932, lot 512]; to [Paul Cassirer]. Siegfried Kramarsky (by 1933-1942), Amsterdam 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.
3. 1937 Pantheon article cites the work as collection of Kramarsky
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

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts (London, 1882), p. 45, no. 217 as "A Sketch"

Catalogus der Rubens-Tentoonstelling ten bate van de Vereeniging "Rembrandt", exh. cat., Goudstikker (Amsterdam, 1933), cat. no. 39, repr.

Leo van Puyvelde, "Ausstellung von Rubens-Skizzen in Brüssel", Pantheon (July 1937), Vol. 20, pp. 325-328, repr. p. 327

Jakob Rosenberg, "Rubens' Sketch for "The Wrath of Neptune"", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum (November 1937), Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 5-12, 14, pp. 5-12, 14, repr. pp. 6, 10, 11, as figs. 1, 4, and 5

Catalogue de L'Exposition Esquisses de Rubens, exh. cat., Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Brussels, 1937), pp. 92-93, repr. as planche XIV

Leo van Puyvelde, Les Esquisses de Rubens, Les Éditions Holbein (Basel, 1940), pp.38, 90-91, cat. no. 90, repr.

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

Jacob Burckhardt, Recollections of Rubens, Phaidon Publishers (London, 1950), repr. as fig. 98

A Loan Exhibition of Rubens under the Patronage of His Excellency Baron Robert Silvercruys, Ambassador of Belgium, exh. cat., Wildenstein & Company (New York, 1951), p. 24, 50, cat. no. 28, repr. p. 50

Agnes Mongan, Drawings & Oil Sketches: Rubens from American Collections, exh. cat., President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, 1956), pp. 37-38, cat. no. 43, repr. as plate XXIX

S. Lane Faison, Jr., A Guide to the Art Museums of New England, Harcourt, Brace and Co. (New York, 1958), p. 115, repr. as fig. 9

Michael Jaffé, Rubens in Italy: Rediscovered Works, The Burlington Magazine (December 1958), Vol. 100, no. 669, pp. 411-422, 425, pp. 422, 425, detail repr. p. 425 as fig. 13

Reginald H. Wilenski, Flemish Painters, 1430 - 1830, Viking Press (New York, 1960), Vol. I, p. 639; Vol. II, repr. as plate 631

Eunice Williams, Gods & Heroes: Baroque Images of Antiquity, Wildenstein Gallery, New York (New York, NY, 1968), no. 46, repr. as pl. 2

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

Reuben Arthur Brower, "Visual and Verbal Translation of Myth: Neptune in Virgil, Rubens, Dryden", Daedalus (Winter 1972), Vol. 101, No. 1, pp. 155-182, pp. 155-179, repr. p. 156 as fig. 1

John Rupert Martin, The Decorations for the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi, Phaidon (London, 1972), pp. 55-56, cat. no. 3a, repr. as fig. 8 and 9 (detail) as "The Voyage of the Prince from Barcelona to Genoa: Oil Sketch"

Millard Meiss, "Rapahel's Mechanized Seashell, Notes on a Myth, Technology and Iconographic Tradition", Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy E. Miner (1974), p. 330, repr. as fig. 22

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

Julius S. Held, The Oil Sketches of Peter Paul Rubens, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1980), Vol. 2, repr. as b&w plate 156 and color plate 20

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 187, p. 164, repr.

Christopher White, Peter Paul Rubens: Man and Artist, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven and London, 1987), pp. 261-264, repr. p. 261 as fig. 283

Michael Jaffé, Rubens: Catalogo Completo, Rizzoli (Milan, Italy, 1989), p. 338, cat. no. 1117, repr.

Louisa Wood Ruby, "Sebastiaen Vrancx as Illustrator of Virgil's Aeneid", Master Drawings (Spring 1990), 28, p. 69

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

Peter C. Sutton, The Age of Rubens, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Ludion Press Ghent (Boston, 1993), pp. 313-315, cat. no. 33, repr. p. 314

Michael Jaffé, "Two Rediscovered Antwerp Drawings from Crozat's Collection", Master Drawings (Spring 1994), Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 54-59, p. 54

James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and 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 and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 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

Exhibition of Works by The Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School: Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, 01/02/1882 - 03/18/1882

Rubens-Tentoonstelling ten bate van de Vereeniging "Rembrandt", Goudstikker, 08/01/1933 - 09/01/1933

Esquisses de Rubens, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, 08/01/1937 - 09/01/1937

A Loan Exhibition of Rubens, Wildenstein & Company, 02/20/1951 - 03/31/1951

Drawings & Oil Sketches by P. P. Rubens from American Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/14/1956 - 02/29/1956; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 03/20/1956 - 04/28/1956

European Sources of German Baroque Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 02/26/1968 - 03/30/1968

Gods & Heroes: Baroque Images of Antiquity, Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 10/29/1968 - 01/04/1969

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

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Tiepolo in Madrid: The Fogg "Aeneas" Sketch Investigated, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/06/1992 - 08/30/1992

The Age of Rubens, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 09/22/1993 - 01/02/1994

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: 2400 French/Italian/Spanish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/14/2017 - 01/10/2018

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 09/08/2017; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/17/2018 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

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