A drawing owned by the University of Reading has been confirmed as a work by 17th Century artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens.
The 4.25in by 3.5in (10.8 cm by 8.9 cm) sketch of the Marie de Medicis has been valued at £75,000. When bought in the 1950s for £50 it was thought to have been drawn “in the style” of the Old Master.
Professor Anna Gruetzner Robins, from the Department of Art, called it an “extremely exciting discovery”. Professor Robins said:
[He] has a special significance for Britain because he undertook several commissions in Britain including a decorative ceiling for the Banqueting House at Whitehall… This sketch belongs to a group of portrait drawings of Marie de Medicis made circa 1622… all of which were studies for 21 life-size paintings representing Marie’s life from her girlhood, coronation as Queen of Henry IV of France, to old age and exile.”