Thursday, January 6, 2011
Fourth of 365
Cooler titles to come later, I promise. :)
This next artist has kind of been like my other half for the past three months. We've been almost inseparable. You know, theoretically, because he is unfortunately quite dead.
Fourth. Peter Paul Rubens - The Flemish Painter-Diplomat
Pictured above is probably one of my favorite works by Flemish Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens, The Judgment of Paris (1639), housed in the Prado museum in Madrid, Spain. I got to see this work first-hand when I studied abroad in Spain in 2007. A little post card of the image is even nestled in the corner of my diploma frame. :) I can't pinpoint one reason I love this painting, but I can generally say that I...
1) Love the honesty of his voluptuous women (You can see the cellulite!); 2) Love his vivid, luxurious colors; 3) Love the dynamism of his compositions; 4) Love the way he seems to capture a fleeting moment; 5) Love his focus on mythological scenes.
Peter Paul Rubens was a seventeenth-century diplomat, nobleman, humanist, and collector, as well as painter. His artistic abilities secured him diplomatic missions on behalf of Spain, England, and France, though his heart always lay with Italy, the artistic epicenter of the world at that time. Though his earlier works follow the Roman tradition emphasizing design and drawing, over time his works came to embody the Venetian focus on color.
- When Rubens passed away in 1640, 8 original paintings and 33 copies after Titian were found in his estate. There was no greater influence in the life of Rubens than Titian, hence his evolution to the Venetian style over time...
- Rubens was married twice. The second marriage was in 1630 to 16-year-old Helene Fourment, his muse for the last 10 years of his life. They had 5 children together, the last of which was born 8 months after Rubens's death. Did I mention that he was 53 when they got married? (Way to go, guy.)
- Rubens was so enamored with Italy and its culture, he would frequently correspond in Italian and sign his letters "Pietro Paolo Rubens." Furthermore, when forced to return to Antwerp upon the death of his beloved mother, he built a massive Roman-style house bedecked in antique statuary with a miniature Pantheon rotunda in the garden.
**BONUS FACT 4!**
- Rubens was knighted twice: Once by England, once by Spain. Tops Titian only being knighted once.
"I am just a simple man standing alone with my old brushes, asking God for inspiration." - Peter Paul Rubens