c.1618. Oil on wood. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Read Note.
Allegorical depiction of the senses became very popular during the 16th century.
Allegory of Sight, for which Rubens painted the figures, is among the most complex, comprising allegorical objects and figures drawn with great accuracy. Cupid is depicted showing a painting of Christ healing a blind man. The optical instruments – including a telescope, astrolabe, and globe – painting, statues, flowers, and jewelry are all objects perceived with the sense of sight. Each has been painstakingly characterized with true Flemish skill, sensitive brush strokes, and bright color, so that even the minutest of details is accurately reproduced. The series of five panels is in Prado all feature backgrounds in the manner of large opulent stage settings with extensions shown in perspective.
See: Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens. Allegory of Sight.
Jan Brueghel the Elder. Allegory of Hearing. Allegory of Taste. Allegory of Smell (Bouquet of Flowers).