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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

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

Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques
Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques

As punishment for the vanity of Cassiopeia, who thought herself more beautiful than the Neriads, Poseidon, god of the seas, sent a monster to the kingdom of Ethiopia. Its fury could only be detained if it received Cassiopeia´s daughter, Andromeda. This painting illustrates the moment when Perseus frees Andromeda from her bounds. He is in love with her, as is made clear by the presence of Cupid wit

The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul

As Homer tells it in The Iliad, Paris the shepherd, son of Priam, had to decide with of the three goddesses —Juno, Venus or Minerva— was the most beautiful, and give her the golden apple Mercury he had received from Mercury. On the left, Paris appears to be meditating, with the apple still in his hands. His attention is focused on Venus, in the middle of the composition. Minerva´s weapons are visi

The Rape of Europe
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Rape of Europe
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul

Rape of Europa is a faithful copy made by Peter Paul Rubens in Madrid after an original by Titian. It shows the Phoenician princess Europa after she was abducted by Zeus, who had taken on the form of a white bull. The fearful princess, barely holding on to one of the bull´s horns, was taken to Crete, where she bore Minos. The story was told by several ancient sources, among them Ovid (43 BCE-CE 17

Apollo and the Serpent Python
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Apollo and the Serpent Python
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Apollo fights the terrible Python to free beautiful Andromeda, who was destined to be one of the victims of this monster. She is sketched in behind the beast. In the air, Cupid shoots his arrows into the God, alluding to the love arising between Apollo and Andromeda, as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses. This sketch was made as part of the projected decoration of the Torre de la Parada and was use

The Sense of Touch
Oil on panel. 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Touch
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 Judgement of Paris
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Judgement of Paris
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

The mythological story of the Judgment of Paris begins with the wedding of Thetis and Peleus, where Eris, goddess of Discord, challenged the most beautiful goddesses to take a golden apple which she threw among the guests. Juno, Minerva and Venus started to argue and Jupiter decided to give the apple to Mercury and let Paris be the judge of this dispute. This judgment is told by the Roman poet Ovi

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