Synopses & Reviews
A vivid portrait of Rubens's enormous life against a background of the turbulent history of his times. Without neglecting his paintings, Ms. Lescourret also gives the reader a fascinating picture of Rubens's career as an accomplished diplomat.
A vivid portrait of Ruben's enormous life against a background of the turbulent history of his times.
When Peter Paul Rubens died in 1640 he left an indestructible reputation as one of the world's great painters. In every sense Baroque, his paintings have a wonderful fluidity, a powerful sensuality, a beauty and richness of color and texture. His prolific output included some 1,300 paintings (compare this with Leonardo's twenty and Vermeer's thirty-six) as well as books of engravings, architectural drawings, and sketches. He also left a beautiful young wife, a vast personal fortune, a palatial house in Antwerp, and collections of old masters, antiquities, precious stones, and silverwork. Yet there was still another side to Rubens's remarkable life. Largely forgotten now is his reputation as an accomplished diplomat who played no small part in ending Europe's Thirty Years' War and was knighted by both Spain and England. Marie-Anne Lescourret has captured the enormity of Rubens's life in a vivid portrait which encompasses the turbulent history of his times. Without neglecting his paintings or his painting technique, she offers a fascinating picture of war-torn Europe, court intrigue, and the interchanges between the painters, scientists, diplomats, churchmen, and political leaders of the age. Rubens is a painter whom everyone acknowledges as great but few people have understood. This illuminating, rounded biography provides an unmatched perspective on the man, his work, and his world.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-225) and index.