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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rubens, Peter Paul


The Virgin and Child in a Garland of Flowers
1621
oil on canvas
65 x 83.5 cm (25.59" x 32.87")
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

This Virgin and Child gorgeously surrounded by the Garland of Flowers is an extraordinary collaborative co-production painting between Antwerp's most eminent painters of the early seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625). Rubens and Brueghel executed approximately twenty-five works together between around 1597 and Brueghel's death in 1625. Highly prized and sought after by collectors throughout Europe, the collaborative works of Rubens and Brueghel were distinguished by an extremely high level of quality, further enhanced by the status of the artists themselves.

Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568 -1625) frequently provided lush, warm-toned woodland scenes densely populated with exotic animals and flowers as frames for other artists' figures. He worked primarily in Antwerp and was a friend of Peter Paul Rubens, with whom he sometimes collaborated in painting flowers, landscape, and animals in canvases in which Rubens supplied the human figure.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640), Flemish Baroque painter, was a classically educated humanist scholar, art collector, and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England, who was the greatest exponent of Baroque painting's dynamism, vitality, and sensuous exuberance. He was well-known for his altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. His work is a fusion of the traditions of Flemish realism with the classical tendencies of the Italian Renaissance and is one of the most methodically assimilative and most prodigiously productive of Western artists.

Rubens's influence in 17th-century Flanders was overwhelming, and it was spread elsewhere in Europe by his journeys abroad and by pictures exported from his workshop. He is a central figure in the history of Western art and artists at almost every period have responded to the force of his genius. Perhaps most noticeably in France, where Watteau, Delacroix, and Renoir were among his greatest admirers.

He died from gout on May 30, 1640 and was interred in Saint Jacob's church, Antwerp. He had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Helene (in 1630, four years after the death of his first wife, the 53-year-old painter married 16-year-old Helene Fourment); his youngest child was born eight months after his death. His fondness of painting full-figured women gave rise to the terms 'Rubensian' or 'Rubenesque' for plus-sized women.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/flipcard