Peter Paul Rubens
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A magnificent selection of drawings by one of the greatest artists of the 17th century.
For the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), drawing was a fundamental activity. Ranging from delightful renderings of children and elegant portraits of noblemen and women to vigorous animal studies and beautiful landscapes, Rubens's drawings are renowned for their superb quality and variety.
This exquisite book presents-in beautiful full-color reproductions-more than one hundred of the finest and most representative of Rubens's drawings, from private and public collections around the world. Essays by Anne-Marie Logan and Michiel C. Plomp provide overviews of Rubens's career as a draftsman and of the dispersal of his drawings among collectors after his death. The authors discuss the various functions of Rubens's drawings as preparatory studies for paintings, sculpture, architecture, prints, and book illustrations. The volume also includes a sampling of the artist's early anatomical studies and copies after antique sculpture as well as several sheets by other artists that Rubens retouched, restored, or reworked.
This publication accompanies an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (January 14 to April 3, 2005), the most comprehensive exhibition of Rubens's drawings ever held in the United States.
For this publication, the master's oeuvre is divided into five groupings: Rubens’ Beginnings, Rubens and Italy, The Middle-Class Patron, Official Commissions, and Secular Subject Matter. Through the inclusion of tapestries, particular attention is paid to the genesis of his art. Works such as Descent from the Cross, Laying in the Sepulchre, The Stoning of Saint Stephen, and three altarpieces created for the city of Lille's churches and convents are included. From this impressive homage to Rubens, the general reader, connoisseur, and historian will all hopefully come to know Rubens better, and also be stimulated by the juxtaposition of works never presented in this way before.
With his many facets, his virtuosity, and his prodigious output, Peter Paul Rubens is one of the giants in the history of art. Peter Paul Rubens: The Life of Achilles sheds light on a relatively unfamiliar aspect of Rubens' enormous body of work, a series of tapestries featuring the Greek hero Achilles. Circa 1630-1635, Rubens painted the designs for these remarkable tapestries, depicting eight decisive moments in the life of Achilles. First, he made eight small sketches in oil, some of the finest of his oeuvre. Then the artist and his studio produced large modelli, painted in oil on panels, that further refined his sketches. The exquisite sketches and modelli led finally to magnifications in full-scale cartoons, which were placed under the loom for the tapestry weavers to work off of. For the first time, this volume brings together the multiple works that make up the Achilles series, scattered as they are among various public and private collections throughout the world. Here the process from sketch to tapestry is followed in magnificent color illustrations. Accompanying texts consider the genesis, history, and iconography of the series.
Flemish artist created for English patrons, his relationships with English courtiers beginning in 1616, and his nine-month diplomatic mission to London in 1629-30. She focuses particular attention on the paintings Rubens created for the Banqueting House ceiling of Whitehall Palace-a project that is considered by many to be the most significant work of art ever commissioned by the English Crown.
The series of nine canvases for the Whitehall ceiling-beautifully illustrated in full color in this volume-celebrates the reign of Charles I's father, James I. Placing emphasis on the theme of peace, Rubens depicts not only King James's role as a peacemaker but also his own diplomatic concerns with ending hostilities between Spain and England. Rubens's iconographic scheme for the Whitehall ceiling presented English courtiers with a complex pictorial language not seen before in Great Britain. Donovan explores the artist's allegorical imagery and his explicit and implicit systems of meaning, providing fresh insights into Rubens's achievement as well as into the role that culture played in politics and society at the court of Charles I.
Oil sketches by Peter Paul Rubens-created at speed and in the heat of invention with a colorful loaded brush-convey all the spontaneity of the great Flemish painter's creative process. This ravishing book draws from both private and public collections to present in full color 40 of Rubens's oil sketches. Viewers will find in these informal paintings an enchanting intimacy and gain a new appreciation of Rubens's capacity for invention and improvisation, and of his special genius for dramatic design and coloristic brilliance.
The book investigates the role of the oil sketch in Rubens's work; the development of the artist's themes and narratives in his multiple sketches; and the history of the appreciation of his oil sketches. It also explores some of the unique aspects of his techniques and materials. By revealing the oil sketches as the most direct record of Rubens's creative process, the book presents him as the greatest and most fluent practitioner of this vibrant and vital medium.
Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, according to his biographer Oppenheimer, did more that create remarkable baroque paintings and pictures of 'Rubenesque' nudes; he originated a powerful new idea of beauty that originates to this day.
This rich and readable study places Rubens`s art and life in a modern context. In a provocative discussion of Rubens`s bacchic pictures, Svetlana Alpers takes up the relation between making art and national consciousness, the role played by gender in the formation of artistic taste, and the equivocal nature of human creativity.
Rubens has long been considered a remarkably successful, prolific, and fleshly painter, a frequenter of the courts of the great. He is more admired than loved in our time, in contrast to the troubled figure of Rembrandt. This book takes up basic questions about Rubens's art and life, studies two of his bacchic paintings in detail, and discovers him in a less easy and more identifiably modern predicament. The first problem Alpers addresses is one of the relationship between making art and national consciousness. Why and how did Rubens paint the revelling Flemish peasants in the great Louvre Kermis? The circumstances, tone, and feeling of this picture are investigated and found to involve deep ambivalences that are political, social, and aesthetic.
The second problem is that of art and its consumption. Beginning with Watteau, the making of a Rubensian art is traced in the taste for Rubens in the eighteenth century in France, where many of the pictures he had kept for his own collection had found their way. In the writings of Roger de Piles and in the work of the painters to follow, art is made out of the viewing and discussing of art. A binary system of taste emerged for Rubens as contrasted with Poussin, and critical distinctions came to be fashioned in the binary terms of gender. Finally, Alpers considers creativity itself and how, as a man and as a painter, Rubens could have viewed his own generative talent. An analysis of his Munich Silenus—fleshy, intoxicated, and, following Virgil's account, disempowered as a condition of producing his songs—reveals a sense of the creative gift as humanly indeterminate and equivocal. Fully illustrated with many drawings and paintings in color, this book complicates and deepens the interest of Rubens and of his works.
Despite many recent obituaries, the "blockbuster" art show is alive and well, as evidenced by this massive exhibit of Northern Baroque painting organized by Boston's Museum of Fine Art. Much more than a mere exhibition catalog, this book contains well-written, detailed biographies of Peter Paul Rubens and his followers Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. A lengthy section of critical essays by various scholars examines Flemish painting from several angles. Sutton unabashedly offers a critique of the atelier system—the dominant mode of art production in 17th-century Europe—in which studio apprentices performed much of the actual painting over designs executed by the master. Because this arrangement is an affront to our modern idolization of the individualist artist, it's a topic avoided in most art histories. The catalog section of the book is a masterpiece of scholarly writing, thoroughly analyzing each painting's history and exuberantly baroque content. As a comprehensive portrait of an era, Sutton's book is an excellent companion piece to Christopher White's 1987 monograph Peter Paul Rubens.