Peter Paul Rubens with his Wife Hélène Fourment and a Child


After a painting by Rubens. An undescribed version different from that found in two states in the British Museum (Chaloner Smith 159; Goodwin 121), also signed by McArdell and executed in a more open mezzotint style with small differences visible throughout, such as in the sky and foliage at left. The BM dates their impressions 1740-65, while LeBlanc cited a date of 1752 unknown to other cataloguers.
A fine, unrubbed impression with thread margins all round. A little pale foxing visible in the inscription space only, in very good condition. 504 x 350mm., which is 8mm. less in height than the BM version.
The painting, which at that time was in Blenheim Palace and is thought to have been done in the late 1630’s, is now in the Metropolitan Museum.
McArdell established his early reputation with his plates after Van Dyck and other Old Masters, before beginning his association with Joshua Reynolds in 1754 and ushering in the great period of English mezzotinting.