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Friday 14 January 2022

James McArdell’s mezzotint, “Rubens with his Wife and Child”, c1750, after Rubens

James McArdell (1729–1765)

Rubens with his Wife and Child”, c1750 (1746–1765), after the painting by Peter Paul Rubens (aka Petrus Paulus Rubenius) (1577–1640), “Rubens, Helena Fourment (1614–1673), and Their Son Frans (1633–1678)”, 1635, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York  (

The MET offers the following insights about Rubens’ painting that McArdell translated into mezzotint: “The artist, his wife Helena, and one of their sons appear within an idealized version of the garden at Rubens’s mansion in Antwerp, which survives to this day. The leather strap across Rubens’s chest alludes to his right, as a nobleman, to carry a sword, while the rhyming ribbon tied across his son’s chest playfully positions him as his father’s heir. There was a nearly forty-year age gap between Rubens and his second wife, whom contemporaries widely recognized as his muse and model. The juxtaposition of her plump and pearlescent young hand with his ruddy and weathered one emphasizes both their physical disparities and their erotic connection” (

Mezzotint on laid paper with a small margin around the platemark.

Size: (sheet) 56.5 X 41.5 cm; (plate) 49.8 x 34.8 cm; (image borderline) 46.3 x 34.7 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “ Sr. Peter Paul Rubens pinxt,,” (centre) “Rubens with his Wife and Child/ From the Original in the Collection of His Grace the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim.”; (right) “ Js,, Mc,, Ardell fecit,”.

State ii (of ii) with lettered publication details.

Goodwin 121 ii/ii; Schneevogt, Rubens 84; Chaloner Smith 159; Corpus Rubenianum XIX 141 (copy 3); Dutuit 52 ii/ii

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Triple portrait, after a self-portrait, of the painter standing in garden with his second wife Hélène Fourment and their unnamed young son, all whole-length; Rubens to front, looking at his wife, who is facing the boy as he looks up at her, guiding him by a rein; ornamental arch and fountain behind; published state. Mezzotint” (  

See also the description of this print offered by the MET:

Condition: a richly inked, well-printed and well-preserved impression (i.e. there are very few/virtually none of the usual abrasions to the delicate surface of the mezzotint) with margins (approx. 3cm). Beyond a few margin nicks and minor handling marks, the sheet is in an excellent condition for its large size and age.

I am selling this superb mezzotint in museum-quality condition showing Rubens’ famous painting of the artist and his family in their garden for the total cost of AU$345 (currently US$248.76/EUR217.91/GBP181.84 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this grand scale mezzotint that it is so extraordinarily rich in eye-catching contrasts that (to my eye) it seems to shimmer with light, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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