Rubens A&i

Overview

One of the most versatile and influential artists of northern Europe in the seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) had a remarkable ability to bring his paintings intensely and joyfully alive. He was a successful businessman who ran an efficient studio to meet the great demand for his work, and was also a classical scholar, an enthusiastic collector of art and antiquities, and a respected diplomat on intimate terms with European royalty. Contemporaries admired his extraordinary artistic versatility. ...
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Overview

One of the most versatile and influential artists of northern Europe in the seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) had a remarkable ability to bring his paintings intensely and joyfully alive. He was a successful businessman who ran an efficient studio to meet the great demand for his work, and was also a classical scholar, an enthusiastic collector of art and antiquities, and a respected diplomat on intimate terms with European royalty. Contemporaries admired his extraordinary artistic versatility. His paintings range from altarpieces, portraits and landscapes to elaborate cycles of myths and allegories; he also designed tapestries, book illustrations and even his own home. In this study, Kristin Lohse Belkin shows that there is more to Rubens than the Rubenesque nude. She explores his techniques and workshop practices, the role of women in his life and art, and his engagement with contemporary issues of church and state. She unravels the allegorical and iconographic content of key works, situating them within their original settings and investigating their functions. Drawing on his extensive correspondence, she traces his involvement in the events of his time and charts his relationship with members of his circle.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Phaidon continues its "Art & Ideas" series with these two explorations of major artists. Both books firmly anchor the art in the life-context and experiences of the artist, thus allowing the reader to chart clearly his thematic and stylistic development. Belkin (an editor of The Letters of Peter Paul Rubens, Northwestern Univ., 1991) sets the stage for a discussion of Rubens by explaining the political and religious divisions in the Netherlands and by examining his early family life. She traces Rubens's visit to Italy, where he immersed himself in the works of Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Correggio, and then follows him to Antwerp, where he was both a full-fledged painter and a diplomat in good stead with the major courts of Europe. She does a marvelous job of tracking the progression of Rubens's artistic, allegorical, and iconographic content. The author also posits Rubens as a disillusioned diplomat who saw and portrayed women as peace-bearers in an age of turmoil. Bohm-Duchen (Understanding Modern Art, EDC Pubs., 1991) uses the flow of information since glasnost to flesh out the social, religious, and cultural context of Chagall's development as an artist. Although he preferred to be known as an intuitive "tabula rasa," Chagall's Russian-Jewish upbringing; his travels to Paris, Berlin, Palestine, and the United States; and his witness to two world wars greatly affected his work. The historical background Bohm-Duchen gives here can lead toward a better understanding of Chagall's art, but her Chagall is not as fully revealed as Belkin's Rubens. His persona still floats, unmoored, like the Green Violinist against the stark white background of the book's front cover. Based on their price and scope, both books are recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714834122
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Art and Ideas Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,232,415
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 4
1 Breaking and Making: A Young Artist in Turbulent Times 9
2 The Path to Rome: Italy 1600-1602 39
3 Missions and Commissions: Italy and Spain 1602-1608 67
4 Robust Images for a Robust Faith: Return to Antwerp 93
5 The House of Fame: Most Eminent Painter of Antwerp 137
6 Grand Allegories: The Medici Cycle 171
7 Ambassador of Peace: Madrid and London 1628-1630 197
8 Back at Home: Private Happiness and Public Triumph 229
9 Love and War: Late Mythologies, Allegories and Altarpieces 267
10 At Home with Nature: Late Landscapes and Genre Paintings 301
Epilogue 321
Glossary 330
Brief Biographies 332
Key Dates 336
Map 341
Further Reading 342
Index 345
Acknowledgements 350
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