The Miraculous Draught of Fishes is on show at Mary Jane’s, Garden Street
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1618-19
Artist Peter Paul Rubens
Black chalk, pen and oil on paper, stuck on canvas, 55 × 85 cm
According to the Gospel of Luke (5: 1–11), Christ one day approached two fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee. After boarding one and preaching from it, he told the fishermen to cast their nets. Although they had worked all night and caught nothing, the fisherman agreed; when they hauled the nets back in, they were near breaking from the bountiful catch. Astounded by this miracle, the fishermen became disciples of Christ.
The composition of this sketch is based on the central panel of a triptych made by Rubens for Notre Dame au delà de la Dyle, the church of the Mechelen Fishmongers’ Guild. The sketch was used as the basis for an engraving by Schelte à Bolswert, who worked for Rubens in Antwerp.
Read more at NationalGallery.org.uk
Peter Paul Rubens
Rubens was a remarkable individual. Not only was he an enormously successful painter whose workshop produced a staggering number of works; but he also played an important diplomatic role in 17th-century European politics. He was clearly a charming and attractive companion, described as having ‘a tall stature, a stately bearing, with a regularly shaped face, rosy cheeks, chestnut brown hair, sparkling eyes but with passion restrained, a laughing air, gentle and courteous’.
Read more at National Gallery.org.uk