Peter Paul Rubens

Saint Catherine

c. 1620
Rubens carefully controlled the production of prints after his works, fostering close relationships with printmakers. St. Catherine is an exception: it was made by the painter himself. Rubens first etched the design into the copper plate – a technique suitable for someone not trained as an engraver. He then had a professional printmaker revise the plate in engraving under his direction; the text, likely added after his death, states simply, “Rubens made it.” The result is informal and less polished than the prints he habitually commissioned. Few impressions were printed during his lifetime, perhaps because he considered it an experiment, and to a man conscious of his public reputation, more private.
Title
Saint Catherine
Date
c. 1620
Medium
Print
Materials
etching and engraving on laid paper
Dimensions
29.6 x 20.1 cm trimmed; plate: 29.4 x 19.9 cm
Nationality
Flemish
Credit line
Purchased 1931
Accession number
3848

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