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This is one of the next commissioned portraits of Rubens. But he is very unusual for us now, and then it was quite fashionable to depict a nobleman, for example, on a horse. It is enough to recall the equestrian portraits of Peter the Great or Catherine the Great. Here before us is the Duke of Lerma. And it was not for nothing that I remembered the Russian representatives of the monarchical family.
Duke of Lerma, as the distant ancestor of the Lermontov family says. Therefore, this 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 poet’s family descended from the Scottish line. And he stubbornly always maintained 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 philanthropist and bought a lot of different paintings from the most famous Spanish painters. Thanks to him, the famous Madrid Prado Museum was replenished with incredible masterpieces, which you will not find in other museums in the world. He rose to the cardinal hat, but soon after receiving the post fell into disgrace and was arrested. But through it, later, many years later, the family of Portuguese kings will begin.
It was he who contributed to peace in the territory of two states of Spain and Portugal. But never everything was decided by merit, everything was decided by intrigue. And the Duke of Lerma did not know how to intrigue. He was a warrior, not an intriguer.
Rubens portrayed the duke at the peak of his popularity, not yet old, but not young. On a white horse he looks like a knight of the White sword. This canvas is now stored there, in Prado. The Duke of Lerma was very flattered by such work and performed with such skill. True, for Rubens himself this work is somewhat unusual, he did little such portraits.
Surikov Menshikov In Berezovo