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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

The Garden of Love
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Garden of Love
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

We are confronted here with one of Rubens’s greatest gifts as a painter: his ability to create images of a joyful way of being in the world related to love and inspired by ancient literature and Renaissance art. In the case of the latter, this means primarily Titian. This painting is especially close in mood to the Bacchanal of the Andrians and the Worship of Venus. Many features of this scene cal

Dance of Mythological Figures and Villagers
Oil on panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Dance of Mythological Figures and Villagers
Oil on panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

A group of figures dance to the tune of a flute played by a man perched on an oak tree, and to the bells that some dancers have attached to their lower legs. The scene evokes the dances that are part of Ancient Greek history and myths and the tradition that followed - the book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili includes a description and a woodcut of a similar dance. The painting also evokes the arcadian s

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