The history of the sketch began in 2013 with a priest from the British county of Derbyshire Jamie MacLeod. The TV program experts on the BBC announced the portrait, bought by him for 500 euros, as the original by Anthony Van Dyck.The sketch, estimated at 500 thousand euros, was bought by the Prince of Liechtenstein, and MacLeod spent the money received to purchase new bells for his church. Now the director of the House-Museum of Rubens persuaded the monarch to give the treasure to a long-term rental gallery. From November 18, the 400-year-old painting is on display in the public. One of the seven elders (members of the magistrate) of Brussels is depicted on the canvas. This is a preliminary sketch for a group portrait of the “fathers of the city”, destroyed during the French bombardment of the Belgian capital in 1695. All that remains of this picture is a general sketch and four preparatory sketches with the heads of the elders. One of them is now on display at Rubens House, the other two are owned by the Ashmola Museum in Oxford, and the latter is in a private collection.
- Sketch for a group portrait from the Museum Ashmola
- Sketch for a group portrait from a private collection