Groenplaats with statue of Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen/Westphalia, June 28th 1577 – Antwerp, May 30th 1640) was a famous Flemish Baroque painter. He was born in 1577 in Siegen (in present-day Germany), but soon moved to Antwerp with his mother after his father died. It was there that he learnt to paint, taking instructions from artists such as Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen.

Self Portrait (c)Rubens House Antwerp

In 1600, he travelled to Italy and Spain. It was clear even then that he was no ordinary talent as he soon enjoyed courtly and royal patronage. In 1608, he returned to Antwerp as the official court painter to the Low Countries. His studio on Wapper Square would become a hive of activity with many employees and students, producing many hundreds of creations and paintings to order.

He painted in various genres: from portraits to major projects, such as religious paintings and important series of historical paintings. He enjoyed a social position unparalleled among artists of his time and was widely recognized as one of the foremost painters in Western art history. He died in 1640 at his home on Antwerp’s Wapper Square.

Back to top