This is one of the next custom portraits of Rubens. But it is very unusual for us now, but then it was fashionable enough to portray a nobleman, for example, on a horse. It is enough to recall the equestrian portraits of Peter the Great or Catherine the Second. Here we have the Duke of Lerma. And I knowingly remembered the Russian representatives of the monarchic last name.
Duke of Lerma, as they say the distant ancestor of the Lermontov family. Therefore, it is the ancestor of the poet Mikhail Lermontov. However, it was just a fantasy of a young poet. He simply did not want to come to terms with another legend less respected by him that the genus of the poet was descended from the Scottish line. And he always insisted that his ancestor was the duke.
In fact, the Duke was once a very prominent figure in Spain. He fought a lot, won a lot of victories and at the same time was a very generous patron of the arts and bought many different canvases from the most famous Spanish painters. It is thanks to him that the famous Madrid Prado Museum has been replenished with incredible masterpieces that you will not find in other museums of the world. He rose to the cardinal’s cap, but soon after receiving the position fell into disfavor and was arrested. But after him, after many years later, the genus of the Portuguese kings will begin.
It was he who promoted peace in the territory of two states of Spain and Portugal. But never decided everything with merit, everything was solved with intrigues. And the Duke of Lerma did not know how to intrigue. He was a warrior, not an intriguer.
Rubens portrayed the Duke at the very peak of his popularity, not yet old, but not young anymore. On a white horse, he looks like a knight of the White Sword. This canvas is now stored there in the Prado. Duke Lerma was very flattered by such work and performed with such skill. True, this work is somewhat unusual for Rubens himself, he did little of such portraits.