Peter Paul Rubens
|This is one of the smaller tapestries belonging to the Triumph of the Eucharist cycle, commissioned by the Archduchess Isabella for the Convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid in about 1625.
There is a bozzetto in the museum in Tournai and a modello that was sold in 1931. It depicts a seated female figure with a quill pen in her hand, a book in her lap, and an angel at her side holding an inkwell.
She places her right foot on a square stone and looks over her shoulder at a dove. Citing Cesare Ripa's emblematic representations as well as similarities to personifications on frontispiece engravings after Rubens, de Poorter argued that the figure personifies History or, rather, Historiography.
The dove represents the Holy Spirit that imparts divine inspiration to the writer, and the cherub with the inkstand is derived from the angel who often is represented inspiring St. Matthew the Evangelist. However, she allowed that there was no certainty about the subject in this case, which has been identified by others as Holy Wisdom Inspired by God (Tormó), Theology (Müller Hofstede), and the Allegory of Sacred Wisdom (Held). 3