This publication examines Rubens drawings of classical statues and reliefs, showing the early seventeenth-century condition of a sculpture; sometimes these are the only record of a work of art now lost.
'Marjon van der Meulen's monumental three-volumes study of Ruben's drawings after the antique is published and illustrated according to the lavish standards of the series.' Burlington Magazine 'The real contributio of the volumes is the encyclopedic gathering of all the evidence. It is the assembly of images and sources that renders these three volumes the key reference for a topic that was a fundamental impor tance for the painter.' The Art Newspaper
Rubens was fascinated by the classical world and the exploits of the ancients celebrated on surviving sculptures, sarcophagus reliefs, engraved gems and coins. His drawings of classical statues and reliefs are still of great value for archaeologists, because they show the early seventeenth-century condition of a sculpture; sometimes these are the only record of a work of art now lost. Ruben's drawings after the Antique are evidence of his determination to master models before proceeding to draw figures from life, and all he learnt from his classical models informs the gestures, costume and decoration in his entire oeuvre.