This book, one of four devoted to Rubens’s portraiture, contains a catalogue of all the portraits of unidentified individuals attributed by Ludwig Burchard or by the authors to Rubens and executed in Antwerp. The volume thus complements the catalogue of all the portraits of known persons painted by Rubens in Antwerp, published in the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard as Part XIX.2 in 1987. A decade earlier the volume on the portraits painted by Rubens outside Antwerp (XIX.1) had inaugurated the series on Rubens’s portraits. In 2016, the book dealing with Portraits after Existing Prototypes (XIX.4) also appeared, so that now the cataloguing of Rubens’s entire oeuvre in the field of portraiture is complete.
Not all the works discussed in the present book (XIX.3) are, however, portraits of unidentified sitters – initially the volume’s title. Recent scholarly research has not only allowed insights into sitters previously unrecognised, but has indeed made it possible to give an identity to a number of persons portrayed in works that were not included in the second volume (XIX.2). Among these sitters are members of Rubens’s own family, as well as his contemporaries, including significant figures in the political, economic or religious life of the period.