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In a brilliant cohort of Flemish painters Peter Paul Rubens occupies a dominant position. This flowering was short-lived, but Rubens made it a real era of painting.
Peter Paul Rubens was born in Germany in 1577 in a family of a Flemish lawyer who, for religious reasons, left his native Antwerp. The father dies a year after his birth, and 10 years later the family returns to Antwerp, where the mother has property and modest means of living. Rubens begins a page service in the Count's house and soon shows such a keen interest in drawing that his mother has to give in to him, despite her own plans for the formation of her son. In the spring of 1600, the future genius sets off to meet the painting sun shining from Italy.
Rubens spent 8 years in ItalyHaving painted many custom portraits and showing his outstanding talent, bringing life, expression, and color to this genre. An innovation was his manner of carefully prescribing the landscape and background details of the portrait.
Returning to Antwerp for his mother’s funeral, he remains in his homeland and accepts the offer to become the court painter of Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella. He was young, incredibly talented, had a captivating charm and real masculine beauty. His sharp mind, brilliant education and natural tactics made him irresistible in any communication. In 1609, he marries the daughter of Secretary of State Isabella Brant, out of passionate, mutual love. Their union lasted until 1626, until Isabella's untimely death, and was full of happiness and harmony. In this marriage three children were born.
During these years, Rubens is working fruitfully and his fame is growing stronger. He is rich and can write as a divine gift commands him. Biographers and researchers of Rubens's work unanimously note his extraordinary freedom in painting. Moreover, no one could reproach him for violating the canons or insolence. His canvases give the impression of revelation received by him from the Creator himself. The strength and passion of his creations to this day inspire awe of spectators. The scale of the paintings, combined with amazing compositional skill and finely prescribed details create the effect of immersing the soul in a work of art. All the subtleties of experiences, the whole gamut of human feelings and emotions were subject to the brush of Rubens, combining with the powerful technique of the artist in his creations, most of which are happily preserved to this day. Rubens created his own school, considered the best in Europe. Not only artists, but also sculptors and engravers studied under the Master. Anthony Van Dyck and Franz Snyders continued his fame.
After Isabella’s death, Rubens, who was seriously suffering from the loss, even suspended his work and gave up several years of diplomacy. In 1630, he again married the young Elena Fourman (Faurment), a distant relative of the late wife. She gave him five children. The family lives outside the city, and Rubens writes many landscapes, rural holidays in the lap of nature. He is again happy and peaceful. His mature mastery becomes magnificent and close to absolute perfection.
Later, years of continuous labor begin to affect, Rubens is tormented by gout, hands refuse to obey, the disease progresses rapidly. But even then, natural optimism and a feeling of fullness of life do not leave him. On May 30, 1640, in the full splendor of fame and in the prime of his talent, Peter Paul Rubens leaves the earthly world. He was buried with unprecedented honors, and in recognition of the greatness of his merits before the tomb, they carried a golden crown.