• NamePeter Paul Rubens
  • Activity/Titlekonstnär
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1577, dead 1640
BiographyPeter Paul Rubens was born June 28th 1577 in Siegen, Westphalia as the son of the lawyer Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelinckx. The couple had emigrated to Cologne in 1567 for religious reasons. They stayed in Siegen for a short time but the year after Rubens’ birth they were back in Cologne and around 1588 after the death of his father the family returned
to Antwerp.

Rubens converted to Catholicism and entered a Latin school, where he studied the classics. He received his training as a painter in the studio of the landscape painter Tobias Verhaecht for six months in 1592 and later until 1596 with the portrait painter Adam van Noort. After working briefly in the workshop of Otto van Veen in 1598 he received the title of Master and became a member of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. In May 1600 Rubens went to Italy where he became court painter to the Duke of Mantua, Vincenzo I Gonzaga. In 1603–1604 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Spanish Court, where he had the opportunity to admire the many Titians in the collection of Philip III.

Rubens served the duke of Mantua for eight years but he also visited other Italian cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence and Genoa. In Genoa he worked for distinguished Genoese families and painted several full-length portraits. He spent lengthy periods working in Rome, where he was able to study classical sculpture and works by Raphael and Michelangelo.
Here he also met fellow artists such as Paul Bril and Adam Elsheimer. Rubens’ most important commission during his stay in Italy was the painting for the high altar in the chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Valicella).

On his return to Antwerp Rubens quickly became the city’s leading painter. In 1609 he became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Romanists and was appointed court painter to the stadthoulder Albert and Isabella in Brussels. In the same year he married Isabella Brant. In 1610 he bought a large house at the Wapper which he remodelled creating a spacious studio, galleries for his art collection and a garden. He received several important commissions from churches, among the most important The Raising of the Cross (1610–1616) for the high altar in the Church of St. Walburga and The Deposition from the Cross (1611–1614) for the Cathedral. He set up a large workshop with many collaborators and assistants who worked from his drawings and oil sketches, among them Anthony van Dyck, who was his assistant c. 1617–1620.

Alongside his religious commissions Rubens painted history paintings with mythological motifs and scenes from classical literature. He also made book illustrations, designs for tapestries, models for sculpture and collaborated with engravers in order to multiply his compositions in print. He continuously deepened his knowledge of classical literature and he wrote in Latin, English, French, Italian and Dutch while maintaining extensive correspondence with scholars. In connection with commissions and diplomatic activities Rubens continued to travel abroad, to Paris between 1622 and 1625 where he painted the Medici Cycle, a series of 24 large paintings for the Palais du Luxembourg. He travelled to Madrid and London between 1628 and 1630. In Madrid he took advantage of the opportunity to make copies after Titian’s paintings.

In June 1626 Isabella Brant died and in 1630 Rubens remarried the 16-year-old Helena Fourment. In 1635 Rubens acquired the country estate of Het Steen near Mechelen where he spent his last years with his wife and children. He painted a number of landscapes during these years that reflect his great love of nature. In 1634–1635 together with other Antwerp artists he created the festival decorations for the triumphal entry into Antwerp in 1635 of the new governor, the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand of Austria.

In 1636 Rubens became court painter to Philip IV in Spain and in the same year he was engaged in the decoration of the Spanish King’s hunting lodge, Torre de la Parada, near Madrid. He also worked for the
court of England where he executed the ceiling paintings in the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, London. He was knighted by Charles I. Rubens died at the end of May 1640 and was buried in the church of St.
Jaques in Antwerp.
Work
Judith Beheading Holofernes
Susanna and the Elders
Titelsida, i centrum sockel med titeltext, omgiven av troféer, fångar samt varginnan med Romulus och Remus, överst sittande kvinna, staden Rom, lagerbekransad av Victoria
The Three Graces with a Basket of Roses
Robin, the Dwarf of the Earl of Arundel
Titelsida, sockel med titeltext (bortklippt) omgiven av genier en med lyra, en med dubbleflöjt
Titelsida, kartusch med titeltext omgiven av två kvinnor, Rättvisan och Frikostigheten
Titelsida, sockel med titeltext flankerad av Petrus och Pauls, överst sittande kvinnan, Kyrkan, nederst vapensköld (påven Urban VIII/Barberini)
The Daughters of Cecrops Discovering Erichtonius
The Andrians
Titelsida, altare med titeltext flankerat av Apollon och en musa som vaggar den unge Hesiodos, överst vapensköld (påven Urban VIII/Barberini)
Titelsida, den knäböjande Salomo överlämnar en bok till den Gudomliga Visheten i bakgrunden det jordiska paradiset
Titelsida, i centrum arkitektoniskt titeltextfält omgivet av hermer, den gamla respektive den nya Lagen, överst en kvinna med brinnande facklor, Teologin
Titelsida portik med titeltext, omgiven av porträttbyster av Seneca och Tacitus, allegoriska figurer samt överst porträttmedaljonmg med författaren Joest Lips
Prins Ferdinands av Österrike intåg i  Antwerpen 1635, blad 1 titelsida
Titelsida, sockel med titeltext däröver en sittande kvinna, Religionen ,vid sidorna två kvinnor, Historien och Sanningen, nederst två allegoriska figurer symoliserande laster
Le Gouvernement de la Reine
Maria de` Medici landstiger i Marseille
Henry IV, King of France
Rubens's wife
Skattepenningen
Maria Medici
"Maria de Medici". Kopia efter förlaga av Rubens
"Bondedansen". Skiss efter förlaga av Rubens i Prado
The Four Fathers of the Latin Church
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