Tuesday, February 1, 2011

!00 paintings an artist should know section 7, Rubens department

15) Descent from the cross by Peter Rubens 1577-1640

Painted for a cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium and one of a series of three paintings, these pictures secured Rubens reputation throughout Europe as a leading painter of the era.Having trained first in Antwerp Rubens traveled to Italy and made an exhaustive study of Italian painting. He was greatly influenced by Titian and Tintoretto. Each generation of artists sinks their roots into the generations that have come before.

16) This is the disembarkment of Marie De Medici at Marseilles. This is one of the De Medici cycle of paintings in the Louvre. These are enormous paintings and writhe with lines in the style called baroque. Rubens seems more interested in the sirens in the water than dowdy old Marie. The sirens in the water are finest piece of painting I have ever seen in my life. I stood before them in awe. Delacroix agreed, and constantly returned to them for inspiration. Had Rubens never painted he would still have been remembered with a footnote in history as an ambassador to Spain, at the time the most powerful kingdom on earth. On one trip as an envoy to that court he became a friend of Diego Velazquez.

16) Helene Fourment in a fur wrap
Helene was Rubens second wife and bore him five children. He was fifty three, she was sixteen, and he left her this painting upon his death. A skin which was roomy enough to contain a bear is insufficient to conceal the spongy exuberance of young Mrs. Rubens figure.

Rubens maintained a workshop full of talented artists, including Van Dyke, so that he could create his enormous canvases for churches and royalty at an assembly line rate of speed. He was extremely prolific as a result. He became very wealthy and could afford to buy a chateau outside of Antwerp, he could also afford to die of gout, and did.

images from artrenewal.org


Deborah Paris said...

A wonderful selection from Rubens! I hope you plan to head south again to Italy and talk about Caravaggio!

Dot Courson said...

I'm having flashbacks to art history class and the following years when I was obsessed with the idea of traveling across Europe to see the art... This is great. Don't forget to give painting locations... Thanks!

mariandioguardi.com said...

That Ruebens is a WOW! great choice.

Philip Koch said...

Rubens is a terrific painter. To contemporary eyes, his drawings can seem a bit more spontaneous and easy to sink into, but overall, what a guy!

On the other hand, I've always thought that Ruben's big oil of Marie De Medici at Marseilles was one of the most troublesome examples of an artist kissing up to the rich and powerful. On one level it is beautifully painted- on another it's creepy.

Mark Heng said...

VavaVOOM! Umm, I mean, wonderful paintings...

Anonymous said...

Hi Stape,
The Marie Medici painting reminds me of how different our modern times are compared to Rubens. You could think of him as a Hollywood Producer, at a time w/o tv, movies or Facebook. This one painting has it all for the masses and royalty, politics, family, drama and sex. I'm sure people traveled far to see it, like the movie 'Godfather', it was high entertainment 'and' great art and craftmanship.
These are great posts reminding us of painters we may have forgotten about and can now explore. Thank you again, Terry

Brady said...

Rubens could really paint. The color he gets into flesh is astounding.

And I think at least one of the sirens is a mer-person. At least I see a suspicious tentacle in the water.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I will get to him.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am trying to limit how much info I give. You will have to google the titles to get their locations.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I love Rubens, he is my favorite painter.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Perhaps but it has the finest butt painting in history, eclipsing even Mr, B's Nymphs and Satyrs.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Rubens knew how to build em.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am trying to include enough sex and violence to hold my readers attention.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Many later artists have studied his color.

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Lefteris C said...

Rubens is one of my favorites. I hope you include Delacroix in one of the later posts, although I know his work may seem a bit too loose. Death of Sardanapalus and Apollo Slaying the Python are two of my all time favorites.

Unknown said...

Rubens was a copist and a very good one. Still paintings appear made by the master but are not recognized just because they were never exposed. Others appear suddenly and are recognized.
Rubens was a genius !!
I red many about him, spoke with many supposed experts and it seems it's just not the time another Rubens appears. So I have to wait with mine..............