Peter Paul Rubens, ‘[Landscape in the moonlight]’, Getty Research Institute

Image rights: Courtesy Getty Trust Open Content Program

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About Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens, one of the great Flemish artists of the 17th century, was a prominent figure in the Catholic church, the royal courts, and commercial centers of the Low Country. Trained in Antwerp, Rubens traveled to Italy in 1600 where he absorbed the work of Italian artists such as Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Correggio, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, and Annibale Carracci. A highly expressive and imaginative artist, Rubens was also one of the busiest and most entrepreneurial—he set up a large workshop, staffed with apprentices and students, that turned out numerous religious pictures, mythological scenes, classical and modern history paintings, and portraits. Rubens influenced many younger artists for centuries, including Jean-Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Théodore Géricault, and Eugène Delacroix. The term “Rubenesque” is still used to describe large, fleshy women who recall the ones included in so many of Rubens’ masterpieces.

Flemish, 1577-1640, Siegen, Westphalia, based in Antwerp, Netherlands