Professional achievement combined with life long personal happiness.
A brilliant scholar he was also a man of such charm that he worked with great success as a diplomat.
But more than anything, he was an artist of the highest rank, whose influence spread through the centuries.
It is Rubens great body of work that makes him possibly the greatest of all Dutch and Flemish old masters.
In 1566 in Flemish city Antwerp, Protestant riots broke up against Spanish rule. Outraged King Philip of Spain moved to crush the rebellion. By 1571 existed the clear destination between Protestant Holland to the North and Catholic Flanders to the south.
Wealthy citizen of Flemish Antwerp Jan Rubens originally Catholic, he converted to Protestantism only to flee to German city of Cologne in 1568. Where he reconverted to Catholicism and worked as legal advisor to the princess of Orange. 3 years later, following the adulteress affairs with the princes, Jan Rubens was exhale to the town of Segal, 10 years later he died. And his widow now returned to Antwerp with 3 remaining dependent children Philip, Peter-Paul Rubens and a daughter.
Back to Antwerp there was no doubt with Peter Paul religious identity, raised as a Catholic and his devotion to the Roman church would remain with him throughout his life. Right religion, write people, members of the church, rules of the city.
Therefore where all the major art commissions come up, he would be the prime candidate to whom have been given the job.
His religious believes has great impact on both his personal and artistic life.
He lived a moderate and respectable life.
His works are meant to be seen as aids to prayer and meditation and reinforce believe as well.
He is the great interpreters of counter reformation.
But if you think about his personal believe, he is a man who thought more broadly than dogmatic religious frame.
One could really say that Rubens would not have become a painter if he would not been a catholic.
By the end of 1590's Rubens professional way was clear, from 11 school in classical literature and his real passion was clear - painting.
In early teens - printer to local artist, later pupil in Otto Van Veen’s studio. Otto studied in Italy and introduced Rubens to engravings of great Italian masters. In his early works, we could clearly identify his influence from Rafael.
Adam and Eve in paradise and judgment of Paris were both inspired by this great Renaissance painter.
By this time he was established painter on his own right.
The Judgement of Paris about 1597-9, Panel
Interest in classical themes, composition and poses is already evident, before his Italian trip.
Paris, the prince of Troy awards the Venus, goddess of love with golden apple.
-are grouped as the tree graces
But expression of Juno is anything but graceful, she wanted to bribe Paris with wealth but he had preferred Venuses bribe with Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Venus accompanied with her son Cupid and crowned by Putto.
Spectators - river God and nymph. Satires represent the unbribal lust and desire. If you compare to later works, you will see that this work is youth with blue background. Paris back invites us to identify with him as he makes up his mind.
But he knew he had to experience great Italian masters directly.
In May 1600 at age 22 he headed south. 2 moths later he arrived at his Italian destination Venice!
In 16th cent Venice was a home for greatest painters of the renaissance, Giorgone, Titian, Veronese - had vibrant approach to light and color with freedom of brushwork quite different from Florentine masters of the age.
Young Rubens especially appreciated Titian, in was an admiration he would never loose.
- Sense of color, more vibrant
- Painted, free use of paint brush
- The sense of light
Particularly taken by Ferrari church in Venice altarpiece, monumental display of color and action.
In 1601 he arrived to the city, which is center of artistic achievement Rome.
He spent the great deal of time drawing the classical sculptures in particular. And the paintings onwards, the ancient source can clearly be seen. He have been able to study art of high Renaissance (Michelangelo and Rafael).
But he also appreciated more contemporary work, including Carracci and Caravaggio.
At the time these artists were reacting agains artificially of mannerism that characterised much of the late 16th cent paintings.
New naturalism in figure depiction - it would become known as art of the baroque.
New readings of biblical subjects, dinamism.
Lighting, animated groups become involved in a subject.
Rubens work becomes the typical of Baroque in the way that is very dynamic, tremendous sense of energy, unified message and subject that lands on naturalism
He is a great story teller, the painting that impresses viewer with the drama, the truth, story of the saints and of course Christ himself
1603 Duke of Mantua, apart of appointed him as a court painter, he acknowledge Rubens charm of the diplomat.
Travel to Spain to Philip of Spain.
Artists diplomats, the level of diplomatic activity that he was engaged in, high ambassadorial level.
Flemish, Spanish, French, Latin, Italian. - diplomatic language
Important court visitors during his visit
Giovanni Carlo Doria, prestige
Duke Albert and Infanta Isabella 500 Florence a year court painter, back in Antwerp.
1609 married 19 old Isabela Brant
Happy marriage, enduring visual celebration of loving couple
Trust and fidelity interlocking hands
Courtier, gentleman artist image
1610 home. Collection of antiques. Formal paining duties - first commission
Many workers for churches, altarpieces, greatest religious painter
Samson and Delilah, about 1609-10
Samson, the Jewish hero famed for great physical strength and favourited female charm. Fall in love with enemy Philistine
Classical sculpture in Italy
8 years trip in Italy
Multiple light sources dramatising the moment - confusion of shadows.
Enhanced the atmosphere of seduction
Protective, remorse sign, triumph and pity.
Above Mental piece
Antwerp studio was well organised system where artist was very much in charge.
Administrator - film director or factory director
Brand name, stamp, style of painting
Production line work, assistance
Sketches, hang over to work out and finish
1620 spread, celebrated artist
1621 Phillip III died and his Parton Duke Albert as well. Isabella appointed as her special envoy.
Next 10 years diplomacy, treaty of England, France and Spain
He came as a representative of Spanish Netherlands but of course orders came from Madrid.
Got along very well with Charle I
The greatest art collector of the day and so Charles was happy to have his as as artist.
Portrait of Suzana, friend's wife, sense if light
It captured the sitter s feminine modesty
Sheerness and luminescence of her skin tone, almost rococo in colouring
Greater contract from one color to another
2 or 3 basic colours patterns
Few multiple sources of light
1626 Isabela died
Desire to travel
England and Spain peace
Very wealthy, sold antique collection to Duke of Beckanham
1630 returned from London
King of Spain, King of England, queen mother of France
1630's London White Hall Banqueting hall
Minerva Protects Pax from Mars ('Peace and War’), 1629-30 Oil on canvas, 203.5 x 298 cm Courtesy of The National Gallery, London
Look up from this link:
1630 marries Helena. He was 53 and young wife - 16
in 10 years 5 children
Often Subject of later works
Caste of Stein countryside
Puts his money to beautiful land and house, life of county gentleman
The result was remarkable series of the landscapes
Time of fully explore the light and color of Flemish outdoor life
Spence if unification
19th cent Constable: “Landscapes are Rube’s greatest achievement"
Youtube channel The Dutch Masters