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Diana and her Nymphs surprised by Satyrs
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and her Nymphs surprised by Satyrs
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Rubens, Peter Paul

Diana the huntress is resting with her court of Nymphs in a clearing in the woods when she is attacked by a group of Satyrs. Rubens turned this painting into a virtuoso exercise in composition. In the foreground, two volumes lead to the rest of the scene: on the left are the hunting trophies attained by the nymphs, and on the right, a reclining nymph with her back to the viewer, one of the most se

The Sense of Hearing
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Hearing
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the elder.” Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed i

Orpheus and Eurydice
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)
Orpheus and Eurydice
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)

Orpheus descends into the Underworld to recover his wife, Eurydice, who died after being bitten by a serpent. Pluto and Proserpina, the god and goddess of the underworld, are so moved by the music of his lyre that they accede to his request. The only condition they impose is that he contains his desire and not look at his beloved until they have both fully departed the underworld. On the basis of

The Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

Heraclitus, the Crying Philosopher
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (Workshop Of)
Heraclitus, the Crying Philosopher
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (Workshop Of)

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus (540-470 B.C.), wears a black tunic and leans on a stone, weeping. He embodies the idea of a tragic sense of life, thinking about the future form a lonely and pessimistic point of view. This work was made for the Torre de la Parada, a small royal palace near Madrid, and contrasts with the thinking of Democritus (P01682), with which it was paired.

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background. Rubens painted this wo

The Three Graces
Oil on oak panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Three Graces
Oil on oak panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Graces were minor deities but in this splendid work Peter Paul Rubens devotes his best effort to them. The three goddesses embrace each other forming a circle. The positioning of their feet suggests movement; they seem to dance gently. The setting is as luscious as the nude bodies of the goddesses. A field illuminated by sunlight filtered through dense trees stretches to a distant blue. The sh

Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul
Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul

On a number of occasions, Peter Paul Rubens partially overpainted finished pictures. He did this to paintings by his own hand, such as Nymphs and Satyrs (P1666), which he retouched and enlarged twenty years after he first painted it. He also made changes to drawings and paintings by other artists that he owned. This painting is an example of such reworking, albeit in a radical mode that changed th

The Sense of Taste
Oil on panel. 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Taste
Oil on panel. 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”. Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed i

The Victory of Truth over Heresy
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Victory of Truth over Heresy
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

Nymphs and Satyrs
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul
Nymphs and Satyrs
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul

In this picture, the setting epitomises the classical concept of a Locus amoenus ("pleasant place") which developed from the time of Homer and referred to an ideal place for sensual being, with flowing water that impregnates the land and shade provided by trees. Socrates describes such a place in Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus. Rubens’s Locus amoenus is recreated with such conviction that it makes me t

Archduke Alberto de Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Archduke Alberto de Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Alberto de Austria, the sovereign prince of the Low Countries, is dressed in black and sits under a canopy indicating that this is a court portrait. Unlike the customary indoor portraits, this one is set on a balcony open to a landscape that includes Tervuren Palace, near Brussels. This portrait, and that of his wife, Isabel Clara (P01684), seeks not only to bring out the figure of the Archduke, b

Tereus' Banquet
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)
Tereus' Banquet
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)

Tereus, King of Thrace and wife of Procne, raped his sister-in-law, Philomela, cutting out her tongue in order to avoid being denounced. But when Philomela weaves a tapestry, her sister Procne discovers the atrocious event. In vengeance, she kills Tereus´ son, serving it to him in a macabre banquet. The story is based on Ovid´s Metamorphoses (Book VI). Rubens chose to depict the exact moment when,

The Rape of Proserpine
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul -Painter- (And Workshop)
The Rape of Proserpine
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul -Painter- (And Workshop)

Proserpine, daughter of the earth goddess Ceres, was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Despite the resistance put up by Minerva, Venus and Diana, their relationship would blossom into love, as revealed by the presence of the cupids holding the chariot reigns and urging the horses on. This story of passion was part of the decoration of the Torre de la Parada.

Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

When Rubens visited the Spanish court in Madrid from late August 1628 until April 1629, he copied many of the numerous paintings by Titian in the royal collection. He was seduced by the radical technique of broken brushstrokes characteristic of the late works of the Venetian, which inspired his own way of painting from this time until his death in 1640. He must also have been drawn by the emotiona

The Rape of Hippodamia
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)
The Rape of Hippodamia
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)

Like Fortuna (P1674) and the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis (P1634), the Rape of Hippodamia was part of the massive cycle of mythologies designed by Peter Paul Rubens in 1636-37 for the Torre de la Parada, Philip IV´s newly constructed hunting lodge on the outskirts of Madrid. The oil sketch for this picture, now in Brussels (Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique), was largely replicated in the

The Sense of Sight
Oil on panel. 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Sight
Oil on panel. 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”. Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed in Flemish painting. Sight was consider

Marie de Medici, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul
Marie de Medici, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul

Dressed completely in black, with a widow´s headdress and simple jewelry, Marie de Medici is portrayed as the Queen Mother, after having governed France as a Reagent from 1610 to 1617. As one of Rubens´s most outstanding patrons, the queen commissioned him to decorate her Luxemburg Palace in Paris with a series of works that glorified her figure and that of her husband, Henri IV. Rubens began the

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