Early 17th Century old master oil painting from the Circle of Peter Paul Rubens, titled "Saint Peter finding the Tribute Money" | Oil on Panel | Circa 1617-1618 | The Painting was professionally assessed by Sothebys in 2012 to be from the Circle of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640) | The painting measures 20 1/4 h x 27 1/4 w (view), 30 h x 36 3/4 w (frame). The gilded frame has some gesso missing. The canvas is supported by what appears to be the original stretchers, but since reinforced by an impressive lattice backing. The painting has been professionally restored. This painting is contained in Sotheby's Auction Catalogue for its January 27, 2012 Auction Entitled "OLD MASTER; 19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN ART, INCLUDING PROPERTY FROM THE FORBES COLLECTION: THE PANORAMA OF CHAMPIGNY" | Lot 420 - http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/old-master-19th-century-european-art-n08826/lot.430.html | Therein, Sotheby's concluded that the present composition closely relates to Saint Peter Finding the Tribute Money in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The following provenance was also reported by Sotheby's New York on January 27, 2012: "From a Private Collection, Mannheim, Germany, circa 1926; Private Collection, Lyon, France; Thence by decent to the present owner." The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin stated: Rubens is the most gifted, versatile and influential of all seventeenth-century Flemish artists. He was a painter to various courts of Europe, producing magnificent cycles of allegorical paintings glorifying his princely patrons. He also served as a diplomat. The gospel of Matthew describes how Peter was asked in Capernaum whether his teacher paid temple tax. Christ told Peter to go to the lake, take out the first fish he caught and open its mouth. There in its jaws he would find the money to pay the tax. The subject was relatively rare in seventeenth-century European art and may have been commissioned by a fishermen's guild. Scholars have identified the painting as one of 12 works exchanged by Rubens in 1618 for antiquities belonging to Sir Dudley Carleton, a noted connoisseur and English ambassador in The Hague. Writing to Carleton, the artist described the picture as Original, by my hand, thereby reassuring him that it was painted by the master himself rather than by a member of his workshop, as was often the case by 1618. The loose folds of the drapery, the rugged naturalism of the figures, the powerful anatomy and the strong lighting all support this claim. Provenance: The following provenance was reported by Sotheby's New York on January 27, 2012: From a Private Collection, Mannheim, Germany, circa 1926; Private Collection, Lyon, France; Thence by decent to the present owner. School of Peter Paul Rubens: Rubens was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish and European painter, a master of the exuberant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and mythological and allegorical history paintings. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp, popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically-educated humanist scholar, art collector, and diplomat, knighted by both Philip IV, king of Spain, and Charles I, king of England. In Antwerp, Rubens trained under two of Antwerps leading painters, Adam van Noort (1561 - 1641) and Otto van Veen (1556 - 1629). He studied the woodcut works of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 - 1543) and the engravings of Marcantonio (1480 - 1534), eventual becoming an independent master in the Guild of Saint Luke at Antwerp in 1598. Rubens would also become highly influenced by the Italian masters, traveling extensively through Italy, as well as to Spain. Upon Rubens first return to Antwerp from Spain, it proved gainful for an artist at a time of the Twelve Years Truce, through the treaty of Antwerp. He found a position as court painter for Albert, Archduke of Austria and his wife, Isabella; his house and studio in Antwerp is now the Rubens Museum. In his workshop, paintings can be divided into three categories: those painted by Rubens himself, those which he painted in part (mainly hands and faces), and those he only supervised. He had, as was usual at the time, a large workshop with many apprentices and students, some of whom, such as Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641), became famous in their own right. He also often sub-contracted elements such as animals or still-life in large compositions to specialists such as Jacob Jordaens (1593 - 1678). Rubens also collaborated with painters such as the animal specialist Frans Snyders (1579 - 1657), who assisted Rubens with his, Prometheus Bound, in 1612, as well as with Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568 - 1625), who painted floral in a number of Rubens works such as, Satyr viewing the Sleeping Nymph. Rubens had a strong bond to Philip IV of Spain (1605 - 1665), a relationship that was both diplomatic and artistic, and Philip IV (as King of Spain) knighted Rubens in 1624. Under the court of Philip IV, Rubens befriended his court painter, Diego Velazquez (1599 - 1660). Rubens was a highly valued painter in his time, along with what his workshop produced, his own art collection quite valuable as well. He is also one of the most valued Old Masters in today's art market. His legacy has garnered him the stylistic reference of Rubenesque, which describes a style of painting meaning plump and fleshy, ye not fat, figures, mostly towards women. Christies recently set an auction record for a Rubens painting entitled Lot and His Daughters for USD 58,167,720. See the following Article. Commentators have noted the striking similarity of style and color pallet to this painting. Dimensions:30 h x 36 3/4 w (frame) Artist or Maker;After Peter Paul Rubens Medium:Oil on Board Date:17th Century Exhibited:http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/old-master-19th-century-european-art-n08826/lot.430.html Provenance:From a Private Collection, Mannheim, Germany, circa 1926; Private Collection, Lyon, France; Thence by decent to previous owner; then to the present owner. Notes:This painting is contained in Sotheby's Auction Catalogue for its January 27, 2012 Auction Entitled "OLD MASTER; 19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN ART, INCLUDING PROPERTY FROM THE FORBES COLLECTION: THE PANORAMA OF CHAMPIGNY" | | http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/old-master-19th-century-european-art-n08826/lot.430.html | | Therein, Sothebys concluded that the present composition closely relates to Saint Peter Finding the Tribute Money in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The following provenance was also reported by Sothebys New York on January 27, 2012: "From a Private Collection, Mannheim, Germany, circa 1926; Private Collection, Lyon, France; Thence by decent to the present owner."