17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery Level 2, NGV International
An Antwerp-trained sculptor who moved to London in 1725, Michael Rysbrack was celebrated for the astonishingly lifelike character of his many portrait busts. Rysbrack worked from life and engravings and preferred to model his portraits in soft clay before carving them in marble, a practice which contributed to the living and spontaneous character of his busts. This example commemorates Rysbrack’s countryman Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). Rubens was one of the most famous Baroque artists of the seventeenth century, esteemed above all in England, where he was honoured by Charles I as a great painter and diplomat.