• Hélène Fourment in a Fur Coat (Het Pelsken)
  • Hélène Fourment in a Fur Coat (Het Pelsken)
  • Hélène Fourment in a Fur Coat (Het Pelsken) - 1
  • Hélène Fourment in a Fur Coat (Het Pelsken) - 2

Hélène Fourment in a Fur Coat (Het Pelsken)

2nd half of the 18th c.
Object type
50,6 x 36,5 cm
Acquisition date
The Palace on the Isle - Small Gallery, 1st floor
Place of Origin
Vienna (Austria)
The Royal Łazienki
Museum number
ŁKr 819
More parametrów obiektu

The portrait of Hélène Fourment (b. 1614), from 1630 second wife to Peter Paul Rubens, described in the catalogues of the Stanisław August collection as by Braun, was the only work by the artist in the king’s possession. ...

It is a smaller copy of a famous composition by Rubens known as Het Pelsken, depicting a semi-naked Hélène Fourment, covered in a fur, probably painted in the second half of the 1630s, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna …. In his essay devoted to the painting, Julius Held (1967) wrote that Rubens created a portrait historié,in which he depicted his wife as Venus, or rather he gave the goddess of love Hélène’s features. Held pointed out that the manner in which the sitter’s hand is placed to cover her breasts, alludes to the ancient sculpted models of Venus Pudica (Shy), and also to Titian’s famous Young Woman in a Fur Coat, of c. 1535 … , which Rubens undoubtedly saw during his stay in England when it was in the King Charles I collection. In the Corpus Rubenianum (1987) Hans Vlieghe mentions only one painted copy of Het Pelsken—which is the Łazienki painting by Braun … . [See D. Juszczak, H. Małachowicz, The Stanisław August Collection of Paintings at the Royal Łazienki. Catalogue, Royal Łazienki Museum, Warsaw 2016, no. 23, pp. 114–116.]