Archduke Ferdinand, Cardinal-Infante of Spain, at the Battle of Nordlingen, 1635

  • Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish, 1577-1640

Oil on oak-veneered masonite panel

  • Unframed: 48 1/8 × 36 5/8 inches (122.2 × 93 cm)
  • 59 3/4 × 48 3/16 × 5 5/8 inches (151.8 × 122.4 × 14.3 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund


On View

  • European: Rubens


European Painting

  • Equestrians
  • Archdukes
  • Battles
  • Oak
  • Oil
  • Panel (wood)
  • Masonite (tm)
  • Veneer
  • Sketches
  • Portraits
  • Painting (visual work)
  • Flanders

The son of Spanish King Philip III, Archduke Ferdinand appears in this portrait at the Battle of Nördlingen, where he realized his greatest military victory in a battle that changed the course of the Thirty Years War. The dazzling and energetic painting style compliments the heroics of the young prince. Equestrian paintings were a very popular form of portraiture for European rulers whose majesty and political power were emphasized by such a composition. Archduke Ferdinand was one of Rubens's most enthusiastic art patrons.

Collection the Marquis of Bristol; Collection Sir Audley Neeld (Grittleton House, Wiltshire, England); L. W. Neeld; July 13, 1945, auction L. W. Neeld, lot 84, Christie's, (London, England); dealer, Koetser Gallery (London, England and New York, New York, USA); 1947-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Smith, J. Catalogue Raisonné of the most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters, Vol. 2. London, 1830, p. 309, no. 1139. Rooses, M. L'Oeuvre de P. P. Rubens, Vol. 4. Antwerp, 1890, p. 157, no. 930. Rubens and van Dyck. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1946, cat. 38. Valentiner, W.R. "Rubens' Paintings in America." Art Quarterly 9, 2 (1946): p. 168, no. 136. Goris, J.A. and J. Held. Rubens in America, New York, 1947, p. 26, no. 4. Richardson, E. P. "Rubens' Portrait of the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 27, no. 1 (1947): pp. 2-4 (ill.). Richardson, E.P. "Rubens, The Archduke Ferdinand, Cardinal-Infante of Spain, at the Battle of Nördlingen." In Favorite Paintings from the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1948, pp. 25–29, no. IV, pl. IV (ill.). Richardson, E.P. "A Rediscovered Sketch by Rubens of the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand." Miscellanea Leo van Puyvelde. Brussels, 1949, pp. 135-138. Held, J.S. "A Rubens Portrait for Sarasota." Ringling Museum Annual, 1951. Burchard, L. Loan Exhibition of Rubens. Wildenstein and Company. New York, 1951, cat. 30. Held, J.S. "Drawings and Oil Sketches by Rubens from American Collections." Burlington Magazine 98 (1956): p. 123. Drawings and Oil Sketches by P. P. Rubens from American Collections. Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, MA, 1956, cat. 47. Gerson, H. and E.H. Ter Kuile. Art and Architecture in Belgium: 1600-1800. Harmondsworth, 1960, p. 189, no. 140. Saisselin, R.G. Style, Truth and the Portrait. Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland,1963, cat. 22 (ill.). The Illustrated London News, Oct. 5, 1963 (ill.). "Other Works of Rubens in the Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 43, nos. 3/4 (1964): 54–57, pp. 54, 57 (ill.). Williams, E. Gods, Heroes/Baroque Images of Antiquity. Wildenstein and Company. New York, cat. 48, pl. 3 (ill.). Jaffe, M. Rubens and Italy. New York, 1977, p. 115, no. 32. Grimes, M. Homage to Rubens. Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1978, cat. 7. Held, J. S. The Oil Sketches of Peter Paul Rubens. Princeton, 1980, 2 vols. p. 395, no. 293, pl. 295 (ill.). Catalogue of the Flemish and Dutch Paintings 1400-1900. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Sarasota, 1980, cat. 34 (ill.). [cat. entry by W. H. Wilson] Held, Julius, S. Flemish and German Paintings of the 17th Century, (The Collections of The Detroit Institute of Arts). Detroit, 1982, pp. 91-94 (ill.). Vlieghe, H. Rubens Portraits, (Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard) Part XIX (Portraits II). 1987, pp. 84-85, no. 93a, figs. 75, 77, 79, 80 (ill.). Jaffé, M. Rubens catalogo complete. Milan, 1989, p. 344, no. 1177 (ill.). [as. ca. 1635] Bauman, G. C., and W. Liedtke. Flemish Paintings in America. Antwerp, 1992, p. 359, no. 394 (ill.).

Peter Paul Rubens, Archduke Ferdinand, Cardinal-Infante of Spain, at the Battle of Nordlingen, 1635, oil on oak-veneered Masonite panel. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund, 47.58.