Longueval was a hero from the Thirty Years’ War, a war in Europe between the Holy Roman Empire and the Protestant state from 1618 to 1648. He was killed in Hungary in 1621. Rubens was asked to make a design for an engraved portrait, which for commercial reasons had to be ready soon. The portrait shows almost half the body of Charles de Longueval in a cartouche surrounded by symbols: inverted torches as a symbol for mourning; the chained river god with the vase and the urban virgin Antwerp with a crown, which are symbolic for the conquered areas; Hercules tramples Dissension and Hydra, who stood for envy and enmity; the eagle pushes its claw firmly into the globe and looks intently at the palm branch that Victory is holding in front of it. The eagle is being crowned with laurels by Church and Religion. The design for the print, an oil sketch, is in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg (Russia).
Portrait of Charles de Longueval, Comte de Bucquoy
635 mm x 500 mm
CC BY (Creative Commons 4.0)