Peter Paul Rubens

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Peter Paul Rubens
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| death_place = Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands| nationality = Flemish| field = Painting, printmaking| training = Tobias VerhaechtAdam van NoortOtto van VeenFlemish Baroque painting>Flemish BaroqueBaroque| works =| patrons =| spouse = Isabella Brant (1609 – her death 1626) Helena Fourment (1630 – his death 1640)


| awards =}}Sir Peter Paul Rubens ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|r|uː|b|ən|z}};"Rubens". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. {{IPA-nl|ˈrybə(n)s|lang}}; 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's highly charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history. His unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement, color, and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. Rubens was a prolific artist. The catalogue of his works by Michael Jaffé lists 1,403 pieces, excluding numerous copies made in his workshop.Nico Van Hout, 1979His commissioned works were mostly "history paintings", which included religious and mythological subjects, and hunt scenes. He painted portraits, especially of friends, and self-portraits, and in later life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed tapestries and prints, as well as his own house. He also oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the royal entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria in 1635.His drawings are predominantly very forceful and without great detail. He also made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium, even for very large works, but he used canvas as well, especially when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems.


Early life

File:GARDENS IN THE RUBENS HOUSE - ANTWERP.jpg|thumb|The garden designed by Rubens at the Rubenshuis in AntwerpenAntwerpenRubens was born in the city of Siegen to Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelincks. He was named in honour of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, because he was born on their solemnity.Historische levensbeschryving van P.P. Rubens Door Jean Francois Marie Michel. p.14 His father, a Calvinist, and mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Habsburg Netherlands by the Duke of Alba.Jan Rubens became the legal adviser (and lover) of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, and settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine who was born in 1571.H. C. Erik Midelfort, "Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany", page 58, University of Virginia Press, 22 January 1996. Retrieved 2 February 2013.Following Jan Rubens's imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father's death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic.Religion figured prominently in much of his work, and Rubens later became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of paintingBelkin (1998): 11–18. (he had said "My passion comes from the heavens, not from earthly musings").{{Citation needed|date=January 2019}}


(File:Portrait of a Man, Possibly an Architect or Geographer MET DT8854.jpg|thumb|upright|Portrait of a Young Scholar, from 1597)In Antwerp, Rubens received a Renaissance humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city's leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen.Held (1983): 14–35. Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists' works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.Belkin (1998): 22–38.

Italy (1600–1608)

In 1600 Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. The colouring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens's painting, and his later, mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian.Belkin (1998): 42; 57. With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he studied classical Greek and Roman art and copied works of the Italian masters. The Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons was especially influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.Belkin (1998): 52–57 He was also influenced by the recent, highly naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio.File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Fall of Phaeton (National Gallery of Art).jpg|thumb|left|upright=1.25|The Fall of Phaeton, 1604, in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.]]Rubens later made a copy of Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ and recommended his patron, the Duke of Mantua, to purchase The Death of the Virgin (Louvre).Belkin (1998): 59. After his return to Antwerp he was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) for the St. Paul's Church in Antwerp.Sirjacobs, Raymond. Antwerpen Sint-Pauluskerk: Rubens En De Mysteries Van De Rozenkrans = Rubens Et Les Mystères Du Rosaire = Rubens and the Mysteries of the Rosary, Antwerpen: Sint-Paulusvrienden, 2004 During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III.JOURNAL, The Medici Grand Duchy and Rubens' First Trip to Spain, Rosen, Mark, Oud Holland, Vol. 121, No. 2/3, 2008, 147–152, While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian that had been collected by Philip II.Belkin (1998): 71–73 He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay (Prado, Madrid) that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian's (:File:Tizian 082.jpg|Charles V at Mühlberg) (1548; Prado, Madrid). This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined art and diplomacy.He returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and then in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the (:File:Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria.jpg|Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria) (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced later paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.Belkin (1998): 75.(File:Rubens Madonna on Floral Wreath.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|Madonna on Floral Wreath, together with Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1619)He also began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, which was published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was mostly in Rome. During this period Rubens received, with the assistance of Cardinal Jacopo Serra (the brother of Maria Pallavicini), his most important commission to date for the High Altar of the city's most fashionable new church, Santa Maria in Vallicella also known as the Chiesa Nuova.The subject was to be St. Gregory the Great and important local saints adoring an icon of the Virgin and Child. The first version, a single canvas (now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble), was immediately replaced by a second version on three slate panels that permits the actual miraculous holy image of the "Santa Maria in Vallicella" to be revealed on important feast days by a removable copper cover, also painted by the artist.Jaffé (1977): 85–99; Belting (1994): 484–90, 554–56.Rubens's experiences in Italy continued to influence his work. He continued to write many of his letters and correspondences in Italian, signed his name as "Pietro Paolo Rubens", and spoke longingly of returning to the peninsula—a hope that never materialized.Belkin (1998): 95.

Antwerp (1609–1621)

File:Peter Paul Rubens Peter Paul Rubens - The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower.jpg|thumb|upright|Rubens and Isabella Brandt, the Honeysuckle Bower, c. 1609. Alte PinakothekAlte PinakothekUpon hearing of his mother's illness in 1608, Rubens planned his departure from Italy for Antwerp. However, she died before he arrived home. His return coincided with a period of renewed prosperity in the city with the signing of the Treaty of Antwerp in April 1609, which initiated the Twelve Years' Truce. In September 1609 Rubens was appointed as court painter by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, sovereigns of the Low Countries.He received special permission to base his studio in Antwerp instead of at their court in Brussels, and to also work for other clients. He remained close to the Archduchess Isabella until her death in 1633, and was called upon not only as a painter but also as an ambassador and diplomat. Rubens further cemented his ties to the city when, on 3 October 1609, he married Isabella Brant, the daughter of a leading Antwerp citizen and humanist, Jan Brant.File:Peter Paul Rubens - Descent from the Cross - WGA20230.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Descent from the Cross, 1618. Hermitage MuseumHermitage MuseumIn 1610 Rubens moved into a new house and studio that he designed. Now the Rubenshuis Museum, the Italian-influenced villa in the centre of Antwerp accommodated his workshop, where he and his apprentices made most of the paintings, and his personal art collection and library, both among the most extensive in Antwerp. During this time he built up a studio with numerous students and assistants. His most famous pupil was the young Anthony van Dyck, who soon became the leading Flemish portraitist and collaborated frequently with Rubens. He also often collaborated with the many specialists active in the city, including the animal painter Frans Snyders, who contributed the eagle to Prometheus Bound (c. 1611–12, completed by 1618), and his good friend the flower-painter Jan Brueghel the Elder.Another house was built by Rubens to the north of Antwerp in the polder village of Doel, "Hooghuis" (1613/1643), perhaps as an investment. The "High House" was built next to the village church.File:Peter Paul Rubens -Familie van Jan Bruegel de Oude - Courtauld Gallery Londen 2-12-2009 16-35-20.JPG|thumb|upright|Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1613–1615. Courtauld Institute of ArtCourtauld Institute of ArtAltarpieces such as The Raising of the Cross (1610) and The Descent from the Cross (1611–1614) for the Cathedral of Our Lady were particularly important in establishing Rubens as Flanders' leading painter shortly after his return. The Raising of the Cross, for example, demonstrates the artist's synthesis of (:File:Jacopo Tintoretto 021.jpg|Tintoretto's Crucifixion) for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Michelangelo's dynamic figures, and Rubens's own personal style. This painting has been held as a prime example of Baroque religious art.Martin (1977): 109.Rubens used the production of prints and book title-pages, especially for his friend Balthasar Moretus, the owner of the large Plantin-Moretus publishing house, to extend his fame throughout Europe during this part of his career. In 1618, Rubens embarked upon a printmaking enterprise by soliciting an unusual triple privilege (an early form of copyright) to protect his designs in France, the Southern Netherlands, and United Provinces.JOURNAL, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, Hottle, Andrew D., Commerce and Connections: Peter Paul Rubens and the Dedicated Print, 55, 2004, 54–85, He enlisted Lucas Vorsterman to engrave a number of his notable religious and mythological paintings, to which Rubens appended personal and professional dedications to noteworthy individuals in the Southern Netherlands, United Provinces, England, France, and Spain. With the exception of a few etchings, Rubens left the printmaking to specialists, who included Lucas Vorsterman, Paulus Pontius and Willem Panneels.Pauw-De Veen (1977): 243–251. He recruited a number of engravers trained by Christoffel Jegher, whom he carefully schooled in the more vigorous style he wanted. Rubens also designed the last significant woodcuts before the 19th-century revival in the technique.A Hyatt Mayor, Prints and People, Metropolitan Museum of Art/Princeton, 1971, no.427–32, {{ISBN|0-691-00326-2}}

Marie de' Medici Cycle and diplomatic missions (1621–1630)

In 1621, the Queen Mother of France, Marie de' Medici, commissioned Rubens to paint two large allegorical cycles celebrating her life and the life of her late husband, Henry IV, for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. The Marie de' Medici cycle (now in the Louvre) was installed in 1625, and although he began work on the second series it was never completed.Belkin (1998): 175; 192; Held (1975): 218–233, esp. pp. 222–225. Marie was exiled from France in 1630 by her son, Louis XIII, and died in 1642 in the same house in Cologne where Rubens had lived as a child.Belkin (1998): 173–175.File:Anna of Austria by Rubens (1622-1625, Norton Simon Museum).jpg|thumb|left|Portrait of Anna of Austria, Queen of France, c. 1622–1625]]After the end of the Twelve Years' Truce in 1621, the Spanish Habsburg rulers entrusted Rubens with a number of diplomatic missions.Belkin (1998): 199–228. While in Paris in 1622 to discuss the Marie de' Medici cycle, Rubens engaged in clandestine information gathering activities, which at the time was an important task of diplomats. He relied on his friendship with Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc to get information on political developments in France.Auwers: p. 25. Between 1627 and 1630, Rubens's diplomatic career was particularly active, and he moved between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces. He also made several trips to the northern Netherlands as both an artist and a diplomat.At the courts he sometimes encountered the attitude that courtiers should not use their hands in any art or trade, but he was also received as a gentleman by many. Rubens was raised by Philip IV of Spain to the nobility in 1624 and knighted by Charles I of England in 1630. Philip IV confirmed Rubens's status as a knight a few months later.Auwers: p. 32. Rubens was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Cambridge University in 1629.Belkin (1998): 339–340Rubens was in Madrid for eight months in 1628–1629. In addition to diplomatic negotiations, he executed several important works for Philip IV and private patrons. He also began a renewed study of Titian's paintings, copying numerous works including the Madrid Fall of Man (1628–29).Belkin (1998): 210–218. During this stay, he befriended the court painter Diego Velázquez and the two planned to travel to Italy together the following year. Rubens, however, returned to Antwerp and Velázquez made the journey without him.Belkin (1998): 217–218.File:Peter Paul Rubens 004.jpg|thumb|The Fall of Man, 1628–29. Prado, Madrid]]His stay in Antwerp was brief, and he soon travelled on to London where he remained until April 1630. An important work from this period is the Allegory of Peace and War (1629; National Gallery, London).WEB,weblink Minerva protects Pax from Mars ('Peace and War'), 15 October 2010, The National Gallery, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2009, dmy-all, It illustrates the artist's lively concern for peace, and was given to Charles I as a gift.While Rubens's international reputation with collectors and nobility abroad continued to grow during this decade, he and his workshop also continued to paint monumental paintings for local patrons in Antwerp. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1625–6) for the Cathedral of Antwerp is one prominent example.

Last decade (1630–1640)

Rubens's last decade was spent in and around Antwerp. Major works for foreign patrons still occupied him, such as the ceiling paintings for the Banqueting House at Inigo Jones's Palace of Whitehall, but he also explored more personal artistic directions.In 1630, four years after the death of his first wife Isabella, the 53-year-old painter married his first wife's niece, the 16-year-old Hélène Fourment. Hélène inspired the voluptuous figures in many of his paintings from the 1630s, including (:File:Peter Paul Rubens 117.jpg|The Feast of Venus) (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), (:File:Peter Paul Rubens 026.jpg|The Three Graces) and The Judgment of Paris (both Prado, Madrid). In the latter painting, which was made for the Spanish court, the artist's young wife was recognized by viewers in the figure of Venus. In an intimate portrait of her, Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap, also known as Het Pelsken, Rubens's wife is even partially modelled after classical sculptures of the Venus Pudica, such as the Medici Venus.In 1635, Rubens bought an estate outside Antwerp, the Steen, where he spent much of his time. Landscapes, such as his Château de Steen with Hunter (National Gallery, London) and (:File:Peter Paul Rubens 102.jpg|Farmers Returning from the Fields) (Pitti Gallery, Florence), reflect the more personal nature of many of his later works. He also drew upon the Netherlandish traditions of Pieter Bruegel the Elder for inspiration in later works like (:File:Peter Paul Rubens 014.jpg|Flemish Kermis) (c. 1630; Louvre, Paris).


Rubens died from heart failure, a result of his chronic gout, on 30 May 1640. He was interred in Saint James' Church, Antwerp. His epitaph read:Antwerpen – Parochiekerken; 1. Afdeeling, Volume 1


The artist had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Hélène; his youngest child was born eight months after his death. Many of his descendants married into important noble families of Antwerp.Descendants by Isabella Brant:
  • Albert Rubens (1614–1657), married Clara del Monte
  • Nicolaas Rubens, Lord of Rameyen (1618–1655), married Constancia Helman
    • Albert Marie Nicolaas Peter Rubens (1642–1672), married Maria Catharina Vecquemans
    • Peter Paul II Rubens (1642–1672)
    • Philippe Nicolaas (1643–1693)
    • Hélène Françoise Baptiste (1641–1710), married John Lunden.
    • Maria Constantia Rubens (1649–?), married Lambert Frederik of Bronckhorst, Lord of Berlaer.


(File:Peter Paul Rubens - Old Woman and Boy with Candles.jpg|thumb|Old Woman and Boy with Candles, c. 1616/17)His nudes of various biblical and mythological women are especially well-known. Painted in the Baroque tradition of depicting women as soft-bodied, passive, and highly sexualized beings, his nudes emphasize the concepts of fertility, desire, physical beauty, temptation, and virtue. Skillfully rendered, these paintings of nude women were undoubtedly created to appeal to his largely male audience of patrons.JOURNAL, 431556, Review on JSTOR, Additionally, Rubens was quite fond of painting full-figured women, giving rise to terms like 'Rubensian' or 'Rubenesque' (sometimes 'Rubensesque'). And while the male gaze features heavily in Rubens's paintings of females generally, he brings multi-layered allegory and symbolism to his portraits.WEB,weblink Gender in Art – Dictionary definition of Gender in Art {{!, FREE online dictionary||access-date=2016-03-05}} His large-scale cycle representing Marie de Medicis focuses on several classic female archetypes like the virgin, consort, wife, widow, and diplomatic regent.JOURNAL, 3177384, Rubens's France: Gender and Personification in the Marie de Médicis Cycle on JSTOR, The inclusion of this iconography in his female portraits, along with his art depicting noblewomen of the day, serve to elevate his female portrait sitters to the status and importance of his male portrait sitters.Rubens's depiction of males is equally stylized, replete with meaning, and quite the opposite of his female subjects. His male nudes represent highly athletic and large mythical or biblical men. Unlike his female nudes, most of his male nudes are depicted partially nude, with sashes, armour, or shadows shielding them from being completely unclothed. These men are twisting, reaching, bending, and grasping: all of which portrays his male subjects engaged in a great deal of physical, sometimes aggressive, action. The concepts Rubens artistically represents illustrate the male as powerful, capable, forceful and compelling. The allegorical and symbolic subjects he painted reference the classic masculine tropes of athleticism, high achievement, valour in war, and civil authority. Male archetypes readily found in Rubens's paintings include the hero, husband, father, civic leader, king, and the battle weary.Rubens was a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci's work. Using an engraving done 50 years after Leonardo started his project on the Battle of Anghiari, Rubens did a masterly drawing of the Battle which is now in the Louvre in Paris. "The idea that an ancient copy of a lost artwork can be as important as the original is familiar to scholars," says Salvatore Settis, archaeologist and art historian.File:KMSKB-2011 - interior 3.jpg|Peter Paul Rubens works at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels, BelgiumFile:0 Ixion roi des Laphites trompé par Junon qu’il voulait séduire - Pierre Paul Rubens (1).JPG|Peter Paul Rubens work at the LouvreFile:Rubens painting in front of the speaker table at a Wikipedia workshop.JPG|Peter Paul Rubens works at the Victor Balaguer Museum


Paintings from Rubens's workshop can be divided into three categories: those he painted by himself, those he painted in part (mainly hands and faces), and those he only supervised as other painters produced them from his drawings or oil sketches. He had, as was usual at the time, a large workshop with many apprentices and students, some of whom, such as Anthony van Dyck, became famous in their own right. He also often sub-contracted elements such as animals or still-life in large compositions to specialists such as Frans Snyders, or other artists such as Jacob Jordaens.


File:0 Portrait d'une jeune femme avec un rosaire - P.P. Rubens - Musée Thyssen-Bornemisza (2).JPG|Portrait of a Young Woman with a Rosary, 1609–10, oil on wood, Thyssen-Bornemisza MuseumFile:Rubens Venus at a Mirror c1615.jpg|Venus at the Mirror, 1613–14, oil-painting, private collectionFile:Peter Paul Rubens 091b.jpg|Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566–1633), 1609 or 1615, oil on oak, Kunsthistorisches Museum, ViennaFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Virgin in Adoration before the Christ Child - WGA20200.jpg|Virgin in Adoration before the Christ Child, c. 1615, oil on panel, Rockox HouseFile:Peter Paul Rubens 138.jpg|Portrait of St.Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582), 1615, oil on wood, Kunsthistorisches Museum, ViennaFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Diana Returning from Hunt - WGA20290.jpg|Diana Returning from Hunt, 1615, oil on canvas, Gemäldegalerie Alte MeisterSir Peter Paul Rubens - Daniel in the Lions' Den - Google Art Project.jpg|Daniel in the Lions' Den, 1614–1616, oil on canvas, National Gallery of ArtFile:Peter Paul Rubens 083.jpg|Hippopotamus Hunt, 1616, oil on canvas, Alte PinakothekFile:07leucip.jpg|The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, c. 1617, oil on canvas, Alte PinakothekFile:Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria.jpg|Portrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria, 1606File:Pieter Paul Rubens - Portrait of King Philip IV (Hermitage).jpg|Portrait of King Philip IV of Spain, c. 1628/1629File:Peter Paul Rubens 186.jpg|Portrait of Elisabeth of France. 1628, Kunsthistorisches Museum. ViennaFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola - WGA20376.jpg|Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola, c. 1627 National Gallery in PragueFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome - WGA20394.jpg|Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome, 1615File:La Visión de San Huberto por Jan Brueghel el Viejo con Rubens.jpg|Miracle of Saint Hubert, painted together with Jan Bruegel, 1617File:Rubens Milkmaids cattle landscape.jpg|Landscape with Milkmaids and Cattle, 1618File:Peter Paul Rubens - A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning.jpg|The Château Het Steen with Hunter, c. 1635–8 (National Gallery, London)File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Birth of the Milky Way, 1636-1637.jpg|The Birth of the Milky Way, 1636–1637, Madrid, Museo del PradoFile:WLA metmuseum Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens.jpg|Venus and AdonisFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Jupiter and Callisto - WGA20285.jpg|Jupiter and Callisto, 1613, Museumslandschaft of Hesse in KasselFile:Pythagoras advocating vegetarianism (1618-20); Peter Paul Rubens.jpg|Pythagoras Advocating Vegetarianism, 1618-1630, by Rubens and Frans Snyders, inspired by Pythagoras's speech in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Royal Collection.File:Peter Paul Rubens 041.jpg|Series on Maria de' Medici; The Flight from BloisFile:Peter Paul Rubens 035.jpg|Maria de' Medici's arrival in MarseilleFile:Education of the Princess by Peter Paul Rubens.jpg|The Education of the Princess, from the Marie de' Medici cycleFile:Peter Paul Rubens 055.jpg|The Negotiations at AngoulêmeFile:The Holy Family - Rubens.jpg|The Holy Family 1630, PradoFile:Peter Paul Rubens 018.jpg|The Feast of Herod, ca. 1635File:Salomons dom.jpg|King Solomon, 1617Peter Paul Rubens 063.jpg|The Fall of the Damned, ca. 1620File:Rubens Susanna.jpg|Susanna and the Elders, 1608File:Peter Paul Rubens - Hygeia.jpg|Hygeia, 1615. Prague, Lobkowicz Palace.File:0 Vertumne et Pomone - Peter Paul Rubens (1617-1619).JPG|Vertumnus and Pomona, 1617–1619File:Peter Paul Rubens 147.jpg|Ermit and sleeping Angelica, 1628File:Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Snyders and Jan Wildens - Cimone and Efigenia.jpg|Cimone and Efigenia, 1615File:Peter Paul Rubens - Venus, Cupid, Baccchus and Ceres - WGA20283.jpg|Venus, Cupid, Baccchus and Ceres, 1612File:Rubens Sine Cerere 1.jpg|Amor and Venus, 1614File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Three Graces, 1635.jpg|The Three Graces, 1635, PradoFile:Rubens.Helene.Fourment.jpg|Rubens with Hélène Fourment and their son Peter Paul, 1639, now in the Metropolitan Museum of ArtFile:Helene Fourment in her Bridal Gown by Rubens (1630) - Alte Pinakothek - Munich - Germany 2017.jpg|Helena Fourment in Wedding Dress, detail, the artist's second wife, c. 1630, now in the Alte PinakothekFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Helena Fourment with a Carriage - WGA20391.jpg|Helena Fourment with a Carriage, 1639 Louvre.File:0 Vénus et Cupidon - P.P. Rubens - Musée Thyssen-Bornemisza (2).JPG|Venus and Cupid, 1640File:Peter Paul Rubens - Bathsheba at the Fountain - WGA20270.jpg|Bathsheba at the Fountain, 1635File:Peter Paul Rubens - Venus. Mars and Cupid.jpg|Venus, Mars and CupidFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Pastoral Scene - WGA20325.jpg|Pastoral Scene, 1636File:Peter Paul Rubens 019.jpg|Portrait of Hélène Fourment (Het Pelsken), c. 1638 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


File:0 La Nuit - Pierre Paul Rubens d'après Michel-Ange.JPG|The Night, 1601–03, black chalk and gouache on paper (after Michelangelo), Louvre-LensFile:Peter Paul Rubens 184.jpg|Sketches of the daughters of Cecrops, c. 1611–1616, pen in brown ink on paper, RijksmuseumFile:Peter Paul Rubens - Man in Korean Costume, about 1617.jpg|Man in Korean Costume, c. 1617, black chalk with touches of red chalk, J. Paul Getty MuseumFile:Peter Paul Rubens, Bildnis seines Sohnes Nikolas.jpg|Peter Paul Rubens's son, Nicolaas Rubens, Lord of Rameyen, c. 1619, drawing, place unknownFile:Drawing of Isabella Brant by Peter Paul Rubens.jpg|Isabella Brandt (first wife of Peter Paul Rubens), c. 1621, black and colored crayon on paperFile:Rubens Joan of Arc kneeling in armor.jpg|Joan of Arc Kneeling in Armor, c. 1622, crayon, ink and wash on paper, National Museum, WarsawFile:D.D.Petrus.Paulus.Rubens cropped version 01.jpg|Peter Paul Rubens (possibly his self-portrait), c. 1620sFile:Peter Paul Rubens 162.jpg|Young Woman with Folded Hands, c. 1629–30, red & black chalk, heightened with white, Boijmans Van BeuningenFile:Rubens Study of three women.jpg|Study of Three Women (Psyche and her sisters), c. 1635, sanguine and ink on paper, Warsaw University LibraryFile:Study for a St. Mary Magdalen - Sir Peter Paul Rubens.png|Study for a St. Mary Magdalen, date unknown, British Museum

Lost works

Missing works by Rubens are:
  • The painting The Crucifixion, painted for the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome, was imported to England in 1811. It was auctioned in 1812 and again in 1820 and 1821 but was lost at sea sometime after 1821.{{citation |last=Smith |first=John |title=A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters: Peter Paul Rubens |year=1830 |publisher=Smith |url=}}
  • Equestrian Portrait of the Archduke Albert,
  • Susannah and the Elders is now known only from engraving from 1620 by Lucas Vostermanand.
  • Satyr, Nymph, Putti and Leopards is now known only from engraving
  • Judith Beheading Holofernes c. 1609 known only through the 1610 engraving by Cornelis Galle the Elder.
  • Works destroyed in the bombardment of Brussels are the Madonna of the Rosary painted for the Royal Chapel of the Dominican Church, Brussels; Virgin Adorned with Flowers by Saint Anne, 1610 painted for the Church of the Carmelite Friars; Saint Job Triptych, 1613, painted for Saint Nicholas Church, Brussels; Cambyses Appointing Otanes Judge, Judgment of Solomon, and the Last Judgment that were decorations for the Magistrates' Hall, Brussels.
  • In the Coudenberg Palace fire there were several works by Rubens destroyed, like Nativity (1731), Adoration of the Magi and Pentecost.{{citation |author=Joost vander Auwera |title=Rubens, l'atelier du génie |url= |year=2007 |publisher=Lannoo Uitgeverij |isbn=978-90-209-7242-9 |p=14}}
  • The paintings Neptune and Amphitrite, Vision of Saint Hubert and Diana and Nymphs Surprised by Satyrs was destroyed in the Friedrichshain flak tower fire in 1945.John Smith, A catalogue raisonne of the works of the most eminent (...)(1830), p. 153. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  • The painting The Abduction of Proserpine was destroyed in the fire at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 5 February 1861.{{citation |title=The Annual Register, Or, A View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year ... |url= |year=1862 |publisher=J. Dodsley |p=18}}
  • The painting Crucifixion with Mary, St. John, Magdalen, 1643 was destroyed in the English Civil War: English Parliamentarians in the Queen's Chapel, Somerset House, London, 1643Albert J. Loomie, "A Lost Crucifixion by Rubens," The Burlington Magazine Vol. 138, No. 1124 (Nov. 1996). Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  • The painting Equestrian Portrait of Philip IV of Spain was destroyed in the fire at Royal Alcázar of Madrid fire in 1734. A copy is in the Uffizi Gallery.
  • The Continence of Scipio was destroyed in a Fire in the Western Exchange, Old Bond Street, London, March 1836W. Pickering, The Gentleman's Magazine vol. 5 (1836), p.590. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  • The painting The Lion Hunt was removed by Napoleon's agents from Schloss Schleissheim, near Munich, 1800 and was destroyed later in a fire at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de BordeauxBarnes, An examination of Hunting Scenes by Peter Paul Rubens (2009), p.34. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  • An alleged Rubens painting Portrait of a Girl reported to have been in the collection of Alexander Dumas; reported lost in a fire.WEB,weblink San Francisco Call 26 January 1908 — California Digital Newspaper Collection,,
  • The painting Equestrian Portrait of the Duke of Buckingham (1625) and the ceiling painting The Duke of Buckingham Triumphing over Envy and Anger (circa 1625), both later owned by the Earl of Jersey at Osterley Park, were destroyed in a fire at the Le Gallais depository in St Helier, Jersey, on 30 September 1949{{citation |first=Peter C. |last=Sutton|title=Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens |url= |year=2004 |publisher=Yale University Press |isbn=978-0-300-10626-8 |p=144}}
  • Portrait of Philip IV of Spain from 1628 was destroyed in the Incendiary attack at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1985.{{citation |last=Goss |first=Steven |title=A Partial Guide to the Tools of Art Vandalism |journal=Cabinet Magazine |issue=3 |year=2001 |url=}}
  • Portrait of George Villiers, c. 1625. This painting that had been deemed lost for nearly 400 years was rediscovered in 2017 in Pollok House, Glasgow, Scotland.NEWS, Slawson, Nicola, Lost Rubens portrait of James I's 'lover' is rediscovered in Glasgow,weblink 26 September 2017, The Guardian, London, 24 September 2017,
File:Peter Paul Rubens - The Judgement of Paris, c.1606 (Museo del Prado).jpg|The Judgement of Paris, c. 1606File:Jan Brueghel de Oude en Peter Paul Rubens - Het aards paradijs met de zondeval van Adam en Eva.jpg|Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, Mauritshuis, The HagueFile:'Equestrian Portrait of the George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham'.jpg|Sketch for Equestrian Portrait of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (Kimbell Art Museum)File:Peter Paul Rubens - Portrait of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham GL GM PC 49.jpg|Portrait of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Pollok House

Art market

(File:Rubens Sword KBS-FRB(3).jpg|thumb|100px|Sword owned by Rubens. The sword was gifted to Rubens by Charles II of England. )At a Sotheby's auction on 10 July 2002, Rubens's painting Massacre of the Innocents, rediscovered not long before, sold for £49.5 million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Thomson. At the end of 2013 this remained the record auction price for an Old Master painting. At a Christie's auction in 2012, Portrait of a Commander sold for £9.1 million (US$13.5 million) despite a dispute over the authenticity so that Sotheby's refused to auction it as a Rubens.Art historians cast doubt over Earl Spencer's £9m Rubens, The Independent, 11 July 2010

Selected exhibitions

  • 1936 Rubens and His Times, Paris.
  • 1997 The Century of Rubens in French Collections, Paris.
  • 2004 Rubens, Palais de Beaux-Arts, Lille.
  • 2005 Peter Paul Rubens: The Drawings, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  • 2015 Rubens and His Legacy, The Royal Academy, London.
  • 2017 Rubens: the Power of Transformation, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.




  • Auwers, Michael, Pieter Paul Rubens als diplomatiek debutant. Het verhaal van een ambitieus politiek agent in de vroege zeventiende eeuw, in: Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis – 123e jaargang, nummer 1, p. 20–33 BOOK, Belkin, Kristin Lohse, Rubens, Phaidon Press, 1998, 0-7148-3412-2,
  • BOOK, Belting, Hans, Hans Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, University of Chicago Press, 1994,weblink 0-226-04215-4,
  • Held, Julius S. (1975) "On the Date and Function of Some Allegorical Sketches by Rubens." In: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. Vol. 38: 218–233.
  • Held, Julius S. (1983) "Thoughts on Rubens' Beginnings." In: Ringling Museum of Art Journal: 14–35. {{ISBN|0-916758-12-5}}.
  • BOOK, Jaffé

, Michael
, Michael Jaffé
, Rubens and Italy
, Cornell University Press
, 1977
, 0-8014-1064-9
, registration
  • BOOK, Martin, John Rupert, Baroque, HarperCollins, 1977, 0-06-430077-3,
  • BOOK, Mayor, A. Hyatt, Prints and People
Metropolitan Museum of Art/Princeton University Press>Princeton, 1971, 0-691-00326-2,
  • Pauw-De Veen, Lydia de. "Rubens and the graphic arts". In: Connoisseur CXCV/786 (Aug 1977): 243–251.

Further reading

  • Alpers, Svetlana. The Making of Rubens. New Haven 1995.
  • Heinen, Ulrich, "Rubens zwischen Predigt und Kunst." Weimar 1996.
  • BOOK, Baumstark, Reinhold, Peter Paul Rubens: the Decius Mus cycle, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, 0-87099-394-1,weblink
  • Büttner, Nils, Herr P. P. Rubens. Göttingen 2006.
  • Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonne of the Work of Peter Paul Rubens Based on the Material Assembled by the Late Dr. Ludwig Burchard in Twenty-Seven Parts, Edited by the Nationaal Centrum Voor de Plastische Kunsten Van de XVI en de XVII Eeuw.
  • Lamster, Mark. Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of Peter Paul Rubens New York, Doubleday, 2009.
  • Lilar, Suzanne, Le Couple (1963), Paris, Grasset; Reedited 1970, Bernard Grasset Coll. Diamant, 1972, Livre de Poche; 1982, Brussels, Les Éperonniers, {{ISBN|2-87132-193-0}}; Translated as Aspects of Love in Western Society in 1965, by and with a foreword by Jonathan Griffin, New York, McGraw-Hill, LC 65-19851.
  • Sauerlander, Willibald. The Catholic Rubens: Saints and Martyrs (Getty Research Institute; 2014); 311 pages; looks at his altarpieces in the context of the Counter-Reformation.
  • Schrader, Stephanie, Looking East: Ruben's Encounter with Asia, Getty Publications, Los Angeles, 2013. {{ISBN|978-1-60606-131-2}}
  • Vlieghe, Hans, Flemish Art and Architecture 1585–1700, Yale University Press, Pelican History of Art, New Haven and London, 1998. {{ISBN|0-300-07038-1}}

External links

{{Commons category|Peter Paul Rubens}} {{Paintings by Rubens}}{{Authority control}}

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