Jan Harmensz Müller, Portrait of Isabella of Spain

Jan Harmensz Müller, Portrait of Isabella of Spain, engraving, 1621

The print derives from a painting by Rubens housed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, but some variations between the painting and the engraving do suggest the existence of a preparatory drawing by Rubens, which served as a model for the print. Eldest daughter of Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth of Valois, Isabella became governor of the Netherlands in 1621, after the death of her husband Archduke Albert of Austria. Portrayed in sumptuous robes, Isabella wears a lace ruff of considerable size and a striking hairstyle. Painted in three quarter view, looking directly at the viewer, the subject stands out from a velvet background, whose iridescent reflections are obtained by Müller with a skilled engraved hatching technique of which he was a master.