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Ceres Roman Goddess of Agriculture, assisted by two young nymphs to her right, is depicted by Rubens as a personification of abundance. She is shown holding her attribute, a cornucopia, and with a woven basket at her feet, both overflowing with the earth's fruits.

This painting is a ‘modello’ or preparatory sketch for one of the eight paintings (the final work now in Museo del Prado, Madrid) that Rubens commissioned for Philip IV of Spain during his visit to Madrid in 1628.

Details

  • Title: Ceres and Two Nymphs with a Cornucopia
  • Date: c. 1617-27
  • Physical Dimensions: w244 x h309 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Sketch for work in Madrid, Prado.
  • Work Nationality: Flemish
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: Antwerp, P. J. Snyers Sale, 23 May 1758, lot 11; London, Noel Desenfans, 1804-1807; 1804 Insurance List, no. 123; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Rubens' Ceres and Two Nymphs with a Cornucopiawas a modello for a painting in the Prado, Madrid, which was one of eight pictures presented to Philip IV of Spain by Rubens upon the latter's arrival in Madrid in 1628. Inspired by Ovid's mythological tale, Ceres, the goddess of grains and the harvest, is show with two nymphs filling a cornucopia with fruit. The horn and the basket in the foreground both overflow in abundance, symbolizing the Earth's generosity.
  • Artist: Rubens, Sir Peter Paul
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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