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Artists Peter Paul Rubens
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Peter Paul Rubens

Flemish Painter

Movement: The Baroque

Born: June 28, 1577 - Siegen, Westphalia

Died: May 30, 1640 - Antwerp, Belgium

Peter Paul Rubens Timeline

Synopsis

Peter Paul Rubens epitomized the "gentleman" artist archetype. Productive, professional, and moving with ease amongst both artistic and political circles, he exemplified what it meant to be a proper courtly painter of the 17th century, elevating his own life to the same standards of leisure and excellence afforded his patrons. He famously fused a mastery of Flemish realism with the traditions of the Italian Renaissance to produce a powerful and exuberant style that epitomized the immensely popular Baroque movement, promoted by the Counter Reformation in efforts to re-establish the grandeur of the Catholic Church. This style emphasized movement, color, drama, and sensuality, and reinvigorated painting with a new lust for life after a relatively conservative period for art. Rubens' signature portrayal of the female form was coined "Rubenesque," a term that remains widely recognized today to describe voluptuous nudes.

Key Ideas

Rubens is most known for his highly charged compositions that reference aspects of classical and Christian history. His altarpieces, portraits, and landscapes of mythological and allegorical subjects give a true glimpse of the concerns and climate of the times in which he lived.
Alongside Raphael, Rubens was pivotal in establishing the concept of a thriving artist's studio into the art lexicon. His large studio in Antwerp was a production hub for paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe. His bustling workshop employed many artists and apprentices who would help accomplish a large and prolific volume of work.
His pleasant, affable demeanor and shrewd business sense enabled Rubens to be a most effective diplomat as well as artist. At a time when paintings were under scrutiny by religious authority to ensure their content properly validated the church's importance above all, these amiable traits allowed him perhaps more poetic license in his output than others less genially inclined.

Biography

Peter Paul Rubens Photo

Childhood and Education

Peter Paul Rubens was one of six children born into a working-class family of tanners, lawyers, and burgesses in Antwerp, the busiest and richest seaport in Europe at the time. His father Jan Rubens, a lawyer and alderman, was involved in politics and other social affairs while his mother Maria Pypelinckx was an heiress and writer from the Southern Netherlands. He was named for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the liturgical feast in honor of the ancient martyrdom in Rome, which occurs on June 29.

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Peter Paul Rubens Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Peter Paul Rubens
Interactive chart with Peter Paul Rubens's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

TitianTitian
Paolo VeronesePaolo Veronese
TintorettoTintoretto
CaravaggioCaravaggio
MichelangeloMichelangelo

Personal Contacts

Balthasar Moretus
Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peresc
Anabale Chieppio
Duke Gonzaga

Movements

Classical ArtClassical Art
RenaissanceRenaissance
The BaroqueThe Baroque

Influences on Artist
Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
Years Worked: 1622 - 1640
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Anthony van Dyck
Joshua ReynoldsJoshua Reynolds
Thomas GainsboroughThomas Gainsborough

Personal Contacts

Diego Velasquez
Jan Brueghel the Elder
King Charles I of England

Movements

RomanticismRomanticism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Cheryl VanBuskirk

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Cheryl VanBuskirk
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Kimberly Nichols
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