The 2018 summer Evening sale of Old Master Paintings is led by Rubens’ powerful Portrait of a Venetian Nobleman. Painted during the 1620s at the very pinnacle of the artist’s career, the painting remained in Rubens’ personal collection until his death in 1640. The portrait reflects Rubens’ love of Italy in the clear inspiration that he sought in the works by the titans of Venetian painting: Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. The force of the sitters personality, and the power and nobility of his stature, are made evident by the timeless modernity and immediacy of Rubens’ famous bravura brush-work. Acquired by the great Dutch collector Hans Wetzlar in the early 1950s, this portrait has remained in the possession of his descendants ever since. This is one of only a few portraits by the artist to come on the market in recent years.