Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Pether Rubens Helena

William Pether after Peter Paul Rubens.

Helena Forman, wife of Rubens.

18 x 23.75 inches

A strikingly crisp, early impression of this scarce print. In this very seductive image we encounter Helena, the ravishing second wife of the artistic behemoth, Peter Paul Rubens. She gazes apprehensively out of the picture, dressed almost naively in rustic attire with straw hat, posy of wildflowers and a shepherd's crook. More tantalisingly perhaps, her left nipple has escaped the confines of her boddice to give the composition an altogether more knowing and erotic air.

William Pether was born in Carlisle in 1731 and by 1778 his artistic talent was such that he was elected to The Royal Academy in London. He painted portraits in both oil and miniature and was an accomplished commercial artist but, more pertinently to this print, he also studied the art of mezzotint engraving and it was through the latter that he became a pupil, and then partner, of Thomas Frye.


Back to Catalogue