Peter Paul Rubens
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Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640).

It is the most significant Flemish painter of the XVIIe century, its style incarne the aspects most characteristic of the Scandinavian baroque. It associates an extremely free invoice and a rich and luminous color inherited the Venetian school, with monumental forms inspired by the work of Michel-Angel. Rubens gives to birth to an exciting art the human being, the life and the movement.

Pierre Paul Rubens was born in Siegen (Westphalia) in 1577, his family settles in Cologne as of the following year. To the death of Jan Rubens in 1587, his widow goes back food definitively to Antwerp with her children.

After having attended a Latin school, the Rubens young person is engaged like page in the Marguerite countess of Line-Arenberg. he remains there only little of time, his mother places it in training in an artist. He is successively the pupil of Tobie Verhaecht, of Adam Van Noort then of Octave Van Veen, three Flemish painters working in the mobility of the mannerists of XVIe Italian century. Rubens, with the very early talent, is received Master with the corporation of the artists of Antwerp, the guild of Luc Saint in 1598, at the age of twenty and one years.

He then decides to leave for Italy, where he joined his brother, in order to perfect its artistic knowledge. As of its arrival in 1600, it is engaged by the duke of Mantoue, Vincent de Gonzague. Its function consists in carrying out portraits of the ducal family as well as copies of works of the Rebirth. During eight month that it passes to Rome it is impressed by the discovery of the vestiges of Antiquity, but also by works of Michel-Angel, Raphaël and the large Venetian Masters, Véronèse, Titien and Tintoret.

The death of his mother, in 1608, brings back Rubens to Antwerp where it marries in 1609 Isabelle Brandt, the girl of one of largest lawyers of the city. Its long Italian stay enabled him to improve its technique and to work out an original style based on the preponderance of the colors, the exubérance and the variety of the forms and a facility of astonishing execution. In Antwerp, Rubens obtains the immediate support of two eminent guards: Nicolas Rockox, alderman of the city, but especially the archduke Albert, governor of the Netherlands.

It is at that time that the Master carried out the Worship of the Magi (1609) and the Erection of the Cross (1611). To this period also go back the Deposition (1612-1614) and the Removal of the girls of Leucippe (1618).

In 1622, Rubens goes to Paris, the request of the queen Marie de Médicis, in order to conceive and to carry out a cycle of twenty-four tables illustrating the life of the queen, intended to decorate the palate of Luxembourg lately built. The same year, the king Louis XIII orders to him twelve paperboards of tapestry devoted to the History of Constantin.