Attributed to Peter Paul Rubens

Download image: 
Attributed to Peter Paul Rubens
The Dying Seneca in His Bath
Pen and brown ink andwash, over black chalk (original edge of basin just below knees), some corrections in white (especially on the figure's left arm); a few touches of red chalk (on the loincloth and water in basin); preliminary indications in graphite (in lion's head and in suggestion of profile lion's head at right side of basin), on paper; framing line in brown ink; outlines incised with the stylus; verso rubbed with black chalk for transfer.
13 7/15 x 7 7/8 inches (342 x 200 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
I, 234b
William Young Ottley; his sale, London, T. Philipe, 14 April 1803, lot 352 ("Rubens, The Death of Seneca, pen, Indian ink and bistre, very fine"); possibly sale, Henry Fuseli et al, London, Sotheby's, 22 July and days following, 1825, lot 96 (not Fuseli's property; "Seneca in the Bath, pen and black chalk by Rubens, very fine"); Sir John Charles Robinson (no mark; see Lugt 1433); his sale ("Well-Known Amateur"), London, Christie's, 12-14 May 1902, lot 339 ("Rubens. Seneca - pen and sepia wash - with engraving of subject by C. Galle at back, and also a duplicate of the engraving"; to Fairfax Murray for £10.10.10); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 150-152, no. 317, repr.


Watermark: two opposed "C's" embracing the cross of Lorraine, surmounted by a crown (cf. Heawood 2888-98).
Study, in reverse, for the engraving by Cornelis Galle the Elder (1576-1650), published in "L. Annaei Senecae philosophi opera quae exstant omnia", edited by I. Lipsius, Antwerp, 1615.
Figure (Seneca) from the Munich painting, Death of Seneca.