December 7, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART | 0 Comments |

(Peter Paul Rubens – 1577-1640)

The voluptuous acres of flesh painted by the Grand Baroque artist, Rubens, over a long working life, would stretch to the Moon. He is not now regarded a master of colour (although he was), and some judge his work as facile, but the enormous body of bodies is unique: whether he deals with the religious, classical, pagan, personal, allegorical or purely decorative subject, he is always Rubens.  Some people don’t like his success in life (Vincent is a more romantic story), but the man from Antwerp was no twerp: his massive, rich, exuberant canvasses – throngs of people or big nudes behaving badly, palpitating organs and flesh – justify the judgment that the “greatest secret of Rubens’s art [was] his magic skill in making anything alive, intensely and joyfully alive.”*  There is a great, earthy, vibrant, human element to even his most ethereal works. Which is perhaps why Jacob Burckhardt wrote of “the two greatest storytellers this old earth of ours has ever borne – Homer and Rubens.”^

“Expulsion from the Garden of Eden” (1620)

File:Peter Paul Rubens - De kruisoprichting.JPG

“The Raising of the Cross” (1610–1611)


“A Roman Triumph” (c. 1630)


“Fall of the rebel angels” (1621-22)

File:Peter Paul Rubens - Prometheus Bound.jpg

“Prometheus” (1611-12)

File:Peter Paul Rubens - Battle of the Amazons - WGA20302.jpg

“Battle of the Amazons” (1618)

File:Mulay Ahmed de Tunis (Hafsid).jpg

“Portrait of Mulay Ahmed de Tunis” (c. 1609)

“The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian” (c. 1601)

File:The Assumption of the Virgin (1612-17); Peter Paul Rubens.jpg

“Assumption of the Blessed Virgin” (c. 1612)

File:The Flight of Lot and His Family from-Sodom by Peter Paul Rubens,1613-15. Oil on canvas.From the Ringling Museum.jpg

“The Flight of Lot and His Family from Sodom” (1615)

File:Rubens, Peter Paul - Romulus and Remus - 1614-1616.jpg

“Romulus and Remus” (1614-16)

File:Peter Paul Rubens - Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus - WGA20299.jpg

‘A painter of amply proportioned women and swaggering men…’ “Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus” (c. 1617)

File:La adoración de los Reyes Magos (Rubens, Prado).jpg

“The Adoration of the Magi” (1628-29)

File:The Descent from the Cross (Rubens).jpg

“Descent From the Cross” (1612-1614)

File:Peter Paul Rubens - Allegory on the Blessings of Peace - WGA20333.jpg

“Allegory on the Blessings of Peace” (1629-30)

File:Peter Paul Rubens Peter Paul Rubens - The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower.korr.jpg

The artist and wife (Isabelle Brant)















[* E.H. Gombrich, The Story of Art, p. 306.] [^ Burckhardt, Recollections of Rubens.]


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