P. P. Rubens - VenusFrigida - ©Lukas Arts In Flanders vzw - MAS

P. P. Rubens was a Flemish Baroque painter and one of the greatest artists of the 16th & 17th century.

Antwerp, city of Rubens

Selfportrait Rubens - ©Antwerpen Rubenshuis Collectiebeleid

He was an artistic "jack-of-all trades" of his time: mythological and religious subjects, intimate landscapes, portraits, designs for tapestries and sculptures... are the products of this tremendous versatility. Peter Paul Rubens is known around the world for his artistic achievements, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, he also had a far-reaching reputation as a diplomat, architect, businessman, polyglot and collector-antiquarian, which in turn had a positive influence on his work as an artist.

Statue of Rubens - ©JanPollers

The traveller gene was clearly a Rubens' family trait. Rubens was born in Siegen, but one year later the family packed up and moved to Cologne. Rubens' mother returned to Antwerp with her two children in 1590 after her husband died. This was when Rubens took his first steps into the world of painting. He was taught by artists such as Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen.

Cathedral of our Lady  - ©Antwerpen Toerisme & congres

Many of his best works can still be viewed at their original locations. For example, visitors to the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp can view ten works, including 'The Assumption of the Virgin Mary' and 'The Raising of the Cross'. Masterworks are also on display at the St. Antonius church, St Paul's church and the Plantin-Moretus museum. However, the ultimate destination for anyone interested in learning about the different aspects of this multi-faceted figure must surely be the Rubens House. This is the home where Rubens lived for many years and where his atelier was located.

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