This is a later version of the portrait by Sir Peter Paul Rubens of Henri de Vicq, Seigneur de Meulevelt, which is today in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 458).1 The original portrait depicts the sitter down to his waist, without hands, wearing a large ruff. The present copy reproduces the head and shoulders, and the ruff has been changed into a raised collar.
Henri de Vicq (whose identity is known through the engravings of Rubens' portrait by Cornelis van Cauckercken) held several prominent offices: he was alderman of the Bruges Franc, ambassador of the archdukes at the French Court, member of the Conseil Privé and the Conseil d'État, and chairman of the Grand Conseil of Malines.
It is believed that Rubens painted this portrait when he met De Vicq in Paris, either in 1622 or 1625. If the latter, it has been suggested that the portrait may have been presented to De Vicq as a token of gratitude for his assistance in the commission of Rubens' Medici series, part of which – 'The Presentation of the Portrait of Marie de' Medici to Henri IV' - is reproduced in Lot 31 in this sale.
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