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Raising of the cross (c) Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal Antwerpen art in Flanders vzw photo Hugo Maertens,

Peter Paul Rubens is one of the greatest painters of all time. His tremendous legacy remains the pride and joy of Flanders and his hometown Antwerp. Whether in the cathedral, the Museum of Fine Arts or the Rubens House: Peter Paul Rubens is all around. These three masterpieces are a testimony to his extraordinary talent.

Self-Portrait Rubens

Self Portrait (c)Rubens House Antwerp

Rubens painted very few self-portraits, in fact only four. He portrayed himself as a self-aware and distinguished gentleman, never as a painter. Possibly the “Self-portrait” (dated around 1630) in the Rubens House was destined to be used in the workshop, as a model that his assistants could copy.  

Collection: Rubenshuis
Copyright: ©Rubenshuis

The Descent from the Cross

The Descent from the Cross (c)KMSKA -Art in Flanders vzw photo Hugo Maertens,

In 1794, the French transferred the triptych to Paris, where it became one of the highlights in the Musée Central (today’s Louvre). In 1815, it returned to Antwerp and in the year after, it was restored to its original location, namely the Cathedral of Our Lady, where it since forms a pendant with 'The Elevation of the Cross'.

Collection: Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Copyright: Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp © - Art in Flanders VZW, photo Hugo Maertens

Venus Frigida

Venus Frigida (c)KMSKA -Art in Flanders vzw photo Hugo Maertens,

Rubens 'Venus Frigida' or frozen Venus is one of the few works that the Antwerp master signed and dated. In the 17th century, posing nude was not customary. That is why Rubens copied the postures of the nudes of classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. Look carefully and you might even be able to discern the shivers running down her spine.

Collection: KMSKA
Copyrights: Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen © - Art in Flanders VZW, photo Hugo Maertens

I’m just a simple man with my old brushes in my hand, asking God for inspiration.

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