Portrait of Susanna Lunden

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Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Susanna Lunden(?), called Le Chapeau de Paille

Portrait of Susanna Lunden or Le Chapeau de Paille (The Straw Hat) is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, in the National Gallery, London. It was probably painted around 1622–1625.[1]

The portrait's subject has not been securely identified, but she may be Susanna Lunden, née Fourment (1599–1628),[2] the older sister of Rubens' future second wife Helena Fourment.[1] If the identification is correct, the portrait probably dates to the time of Susanna's marriage to her second husband, Arnold Lunden, in 1622.[1] The ring on her finger might mean that the painting is a marriage portrait. In the 19th century it was in the collection of Robert Peel at Drayton Manor until 1871 when it was sold to the National Gallery.[1]

Rubens' portrait was engraved in 1823 by Robert Cooper (active 1795–1836).[3][4] At that time, it acquired the name Le Chapeau de Paille, which incorrectly describes the hat as "straw" (paille).[1] A sketch of Rubens' painting (ca. 1823–24) by J. M. W. Turner is in the Tate.[5]

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1782

In 1781, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and her husband visited Flanders and the Netherlands, which inspired her to paint Self-Portrait with Straw Hat (1782), a "free imitation" of Rubens' Le Chapeau de Paille.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Portrait of Susanna Lunden(?) ('Le Chapeau de Paille')". National Gallery. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  2. ^ Rubens: A Genius at Work: The Works of Peter Paul Rubens in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium Reconsidered. Tielt: Uitgeverij Lannoo. 2007. p. 129.
  3. ^ "Le Chapeau de Paille". The British Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Robert Cooper (Biographical details)". The British Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Joseph Mallord William Turner: A Sketch Copy of Rubens's Portrait of ?Susanna Lunden ('Le Chapeau de Paille'); a Stooping Man". Tate. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  6. ^ Langmuir, Erika (1997). The National Gallery Companion Guide (rev. ed.). London: National Gallery Publications Ltd. pp. 328–329.
  7. ^ "Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat". National Gallery. Retrieved 10 March 2018.