Sir Peter Paul Rubens was born in 28 June 1577 in Siegen, the modern Germany. He was an outstanding Flemish Baroque painter and a proponent of magnificent Baroque style. Emphatic sense and allegory, color, contrast, movement, and sensuality make admire art lovers all over the world.
He got the high level of recognition with his Counter-Reformation masterpieces, history paintings, landscapes, portraits, and, specially was honored for allegorical and mythological subjects.
He started to incarnate his passion for painting in early age. He had excellent teachers like Vergagt Tobias, Adam van Noort and Otto van van, working under the influence of the Italian Renaissance and managed to instill in the young artist love to all antiquity. He got artist experience copying masters like Titian, Correggio, Leonardo and others. Rubens became the great master inspired by Renaissance.
Rubens had successful career in Italy and was back to Antwerp to run large studio there, which produced art collection well known with European nobility and art collectors. He was an actual prestigious artist and, in addition, diplomat with mission between both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.
I have chosen to describe his stunning work Allegory on the Blessings of Peace, 1629-1630, guided by several reasons:
Secondly, this masterpiece is remarkable because it highlights Ruben’s activity in social and political involvedness as diplomat with mission between Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.
We can read in the book by Fiona Donovan: ‘The theme of Peace and War was one of Ruben’s preoccupations in the late 1620s and the first half of the 1630s. The Effects of War, painted after his final retirement from politics, is his last sad comment on the Thirty Years War; the allegory of the Anglo-Spanish treaty, which he pained in England in 1629-30 is full of optimism ’.
I can add that this picture, praising favorable conditions for peace between the two countries, prosperity and the arts was his gift to Charles I, acted as a compelling argument: the peace treaty was signed in 1630. 
Allegory on the Blessings of Peace describes composition of one of the most dynamic, colorful and contrast picture of peace and war.
From the Wikipedia the world Allegory is a device in which characters picture represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. ‘Allegory has been used widely throughout the history of art, and in all forms of artwork. A reason for this is that allegory has an immense power of illustrating complex ideas and concepts in a digestible, concrete way. In allegory a message is communicated by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation.’ . Undoubtedly, we can see so many symbols in this canvas, so many details and philosophic thoughts.
The central lightest figure is personified the Peace, beautiful naked woman feeds infant Plutus (Pax) god of wealth. Such a private and tender natural act mother feeds her child.
Appetizing fruits in the basket blessing gifts of the Peaceful World to next generations, accepting and enjoying by lovely innocent like angels children. They are friendly united in the hug and accompanied with an angel.
One girl is looking at us with her beautiful big eyes, eating grape, a little shy by feeling to be seen. ‘Rubens left a record of his stay in London by using of the Gerbier children as models’ . I think, this way he made the link with the contemporary reflection. The boy with the fire in his hands up represents god Hymen marriage.
I venture to suggest that the lady, turned back to carries gold, pearls and precious items, us is the goddess Venus. She adds gifts with love and multiples wealth. The happy woman dances behind her.
Wild, roaring, always so alive leopard and babies enliven the scene and characteristic paintings by Rubens. Satyr is the winegrower and the lover of Peace.
The picture is deviated diagonally. In the deliberately smaller top-right corner of the picture, Rubens depicted war as an opposite. Not strong enough Mars, god of war, looses and can’t get closer to the world of heavenly peace. Minerva pushes and drives him away. In the background stormy clouds retreats Mars and his ugly despaired Furies.
We can clearly imagine the impact on the King of England’s conscious to elect the peace agreement as in addicting he was a connoisseur of art. By the way, he considered this canvas more private and important enough to hang it in Bear Gallery at Whitehall Palace . Now we can enjoy looking at the masterpiece in The National Gallery.
The paining can act as a compelling argument and message, very actual contemporary in our world, illustrates the horror of war and the beautiful, healthiness awarding peace.
Lets move to the visual effects as tone composition. I liked the article by Margarita Iakovleva where she wrote about the color contrast: ‘All other adjoining figures appear to be in chaos. However, as your eye starts to follow the lines between light and dark, you can see the harmony, rhythm and movement, which leads your eye from one part of the painting to another, showing more and more details of the painting. It gives you a chance to discover the beauty of the painting, amaze you and return your sight again to the main subject - beautiful lady reprisenting the Peace.’ .
I would completely agree that Rubens’ paintings, and this in particular, strikes with their geometrical and hormonal structure. He portrayed nude as feminine and highly sensorial. Rubens is identified with the woman he depicted.
Alllegory in Minerva protects Pax from Mars has become an integral part of the content of the great Flemish and it shows inexhaustible resources of master’s skill.
Hanna Yakovleva, MA