Peter Paul Rubens

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Portrait of the Artist, 1623

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was a 16th-17th century Flemish painter, widely praised for his rich and warm, colorful paintings. Back in his time he was one of the most popular and celebrated European painters, working for several royal courts.

His work depicts Biblical, historical and mythological subjects. Rubens also made portraits of his friends, family members and himself. Rubens was one of the few historical painters who became rich with his work. Some of his assistants and pupils later became famous painters in their own right, like Anthony Van Dyck, David Teniers and Jacob Jordaens.

Not to be confused with Paul Reubens.

Peter Paul Rubens provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Anachronism Stew: Done intentionally for effect. While many of Rubens's paintings depict events from The Bible or Classical Mythology, they take place in landscapes clearly defined by early modern reality, with characters dressed in clothing and carrying weapons from the 17th century.
  • The Bible: Like every painter in his time Rubens painted a lot of biblical themes, though always taking place in his own lifetime: "Samson and Delilah", "The Elevation of the Cross", Adam and Eve", "The Massacre Of The Innocents",...
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Rubens is well known for featuring chubby and fat women, true to the beauty ideal of his time.
  • Classical Mythology: A recurring theme.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Rubens made a lot of portraits of himself, his wife and children.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Some scenes are still a mystery to art historians.
  • Rule of Symbolism