Collection Online

Louis XIII of France

oil on paper on wood panel
42.8 × 32.5 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Everard Studley Miller Bequest, 1959
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Recorded in the estate inventory of the collection of Diego Duarte (d.1682), Antwerp in 1682 collection of A. Harrison, Worcester, by 1955 subsequently in Paris where acquired by F. Rothmann (dealer-collector) in 1955 sold to Edward Speelman (dealer), London, 1955 purchased by Thomas Agnew &amp Sons, London, 1956 from where acquired under the terms of the Everard Studley Miller Bequest on the advice of A.J.L. McDonnell, 1959.

In 1622 Rubens travelled to Paris to undertake a series of tapestry designs for Marie de’ Medici, mother of Louis XIII. Louis used the occasion to commission portraits of himself and his wife Anne of Austria. The sittings were fraught with mistrust, with the young king regarding Rubens as a spy working against his chief minister Richelieu. Louis XIII or ‘Louis the Just’ (1601–43) succeeded to the French throne aged eight, after the assassination of his father, Henry IV. This rapidly executed portrait sketch of the young monarch would have served as the model for further images of Louis painted in Rubens’s studio.