Peter Paul Rubens


Peter Paul Rubens  was one of the most famous European artists of his time and one of the most successful of the 17th century. He is considered one of the great Flemish artists of the 17th century and was a prominent figure in the Catholic Church , royal courts, and shopping malls in the Low Country. Trained in the arts in Antwerp, Rubens traveled to Italy in 1600, where he absorbed the work of great Italian artists such as Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Correggio, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, and Annibale Carracci. He was a very expressive and imaginative artist, and he was one of the most active and enterprising: he organized a large workshop, with apprentices and students, which resulted in the creation of numerous religious images, mythological scenes, paintings of classical and modern history, and portraits. Rubens influenced many artists over the centuries, including Jean-Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Théodore Géricault, and Eugène Delacroix. The term ” Rubenesque ” is still used to describe the great women and fleshy reminiscent of those are included in many of the masterpieces by Rubens.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  06/28/1577
  • Where he was born:  Siegen, Holy Roman Empire
  • When he died:  05/30/1640
  • Where he died:  Antwerp, Belgium

Who was Peter Paul Rubens?

Rubens was a renowned painter of Europe , very prominent mainly in the baroque style of the Flemish school , humanist follower of the Renaissance mentality , he admired the beauty of ancient Greece . Man who believed in God and therefore very spiritual with a Christian message.


Biography of Peter Paul Rubens

Pedro Pablo Rubens was born on June 28, 1577, in Siegen, Nassau, Westphalia, Germany and died on May 30, 1640, in Antwerp , a town located in the Netherlands , known today as Belgium. His father, Jan Rubens , a lawyer and councilor in Antwerp, had fled Belgium in 1568 with his wife, Maria Pypelinckx , and their four children to escape religious persecution for their Calvinist beliefs .


After Jan’s death in 1587 , the family returned to Antwerp, where young Peter Paul Rubens, raised in his mother’s Roman Catholic faith, received a classical education . His artistic training began in 1591 by learning from Tobías Verhaecht, a relative and landscape painter of modest talent. A year later he moved to the studio of Adam van Noort, where he stayed for four years until he apprenticed to the leading Antwerp artist Otto van Veen , who was the dean of the Saint Luke Painters Guild. Van Veen infused Rubens with a keen sense of painting as a noble humanistic profession . In 1598 Rubens was admitted to the painters’ guild in Antwerp . In Venice he used the luminosity and dramatic expressiveness of the Renaissance masterpieces by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.

In October 1600, Rubens accompanied the duke to Florence to attend the marriage of Gonzaga’s sister-in-law, Marie de Medici, to King Henry IV of France , a scene that Rubens was to recreate a quarter of a century later for the queen. By the end of the first year he had traveled throughout Italy and the copies he made of Renaissance paintings offer a rich account of the achievements of 16th century Italian art .

Peter Paul Rubens Characteristics

The main characteristics of the art of Pedro Pablo Rubens are the following:

  • The art of Pedro Pablo Rubens is a fusion of the traditions of Flemish realism with the classicist tendencies that occurred during the Italian Renaissance .
  • Rubens managed to infuse his own vitality in a powerful and exuberant style that became the epitome of 17th century Baroque art .
  • The broad , robust, and opulent figures in his paintings create a penetrating sense of movement in vivid and dynamic compositions.
  • Rubens was one of the most assimilative, versatile, and productive Western artists , and his almost limitless inventive resources enabled him to become the master of the best studio organization in Europe .
  • His art was based on biblical narratives , Catholic theology and hagiography , and Greek and Roman history and mythology .
  • He was a devout Roman Catholic .
  • The human forms it represents have an exaggerated anatomy and dramatic scenes .
  • He used the warm color , the broad brushstroke, his beautiful nudes and the mythological theme .
  • He also represented in his paintings certain human models and technical and compositional daring.

Outstanding works by Peter Paul Rubens

The main works of Pedro Pablo Rubens are mentioned below:

  • The adoration of the Magi : Represents the moment when the Kings come to visit Jesus.
  • The Three Graces : Represents the kindness and delicacy of three goddesses.Pedro Pablo Rubens Who was he, biography, characteristics, works
  • Saturn : Represents the death of the son of Saturn in his hands.
  • The Death of Adonis
  • The Judgment of Paris
  • Duke of Lerma
  • The abduction of the daughters of Leucippus
  • Immaculate Conception

The three graces

The representative tradition of the three graces dates back to Greek and Roman antiquity . It represents the daughters of Jupiter and Eurymone , Aglae, Eufrosina and Thalia , who symbolize different concepts since ancient times. The brushstroke is loose, with details full of color , especially in the leathers where we see the degree of mastery. The light reflects off the naked bodies to highlight them, giving a light realism by letting the light pass through the trees in the background using loose brush strokes .

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