The Felicity of the Regency of Marie de' Medici – (Peter Paul Rubens) Previous Next


Style: Baroque

Topic: Children

Date: 1625

Size: 394 x 295 cm

Technique: Oil

This particular painting in the Marie de' Medici Cycle is noteworthy for its uniqueness in execution. While the other paintings were completed at Rubens's studio in Antwerp, The Felicity of the Regency of Marie de' Medici was designed and painted entirely by Rubens on the spot to replace another, far more controversial depiction of Marie's 1617 expulsion from Paris by her son Louis. Completed in 1625, this is the final painting in the cycle in terms of chronological order of completion. Here Marie is shown in allegorical fashion as the personification of Justice itself and flanked by a retinue of some of the primary personifications/gods in the Greek and Roman pantheon. These have been identified as Cupid, Minerva, Prudence, Abundance, Saturn, and two figures of Pheme, all indicated by their traditional attributes, all bestowing their bounties on the Queen. (Cupid has his arrow; Prudence carries a snake entwined around her arm to indicate serpent-like wisdom; Abundance also appears with her cornucopia, also a reference to the fruits of Marie's regency. Minerva, goddess of wisdom, bears her helmet and shield and stands near Marie's shoulder, signifying her wise rule. Saturn has his sickle and is personified as Time here guiding France forward. Fame carries a trumpet to herald the occasion.) These personifications are accompanied in turn by several allegorical figures in the guise of four putti and three vanquished evil creatures (Envy, Ignorance, and Vice) as well as a number of other symbols that Rubens employed throughout the entire cycle of paintings.

This artwork is in the public domain.


Peter Paul Rubens


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