Peter Paul Rubens

This powerful portrait of a young woman with her large, brown eyes, intense gaze and full red lips dates from Rubens’s Italian period. The most striking aspect of this portrait is the bravura with which it was executed – possibly painted within a day.

He probably painted this portrait circa 1605 in Genoa, which was a prosperous port city at the time. The sitter’s facial features are rendered with great subtlety, which contrasts with the rapid, sketchy handling of her outfit. The painting remained unfinished, as is evidenced by the uncovered ground layers near the edges.



  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
  • Portrait of a young woman with a necklace
  • Oil on canvas
  • Private collection, on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Long-term loan, private collection)