OIL PAINTING: Duke of Lerma, c.1603
When he visited the Spanish Court for the first time, Rubens used this painting - Duke of Lerma, to display his talents and to make his mark. It has already many elements of his mature Baroque style, which would have been novel and striking to his viewers.
Some words for the Duke of Lerma :
The way in which the horse seems to surge forward towards the spectator - an effect engineered by the low viewpoint and lack of balancing elements in the foreground, and recalling the techniques of Caravaggio
- was spectacular, and broke with the traditional profile of equestrian portraits. Other devices used to enhance the spectacle were the eccentric colouring, the tempestuous lighting, and the rather disquieting energy of the horse's hair and the trees' foliage.