Early Rubens - the exhibition catalogue from Art Gallery of Ontario/Legion of Honor available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Early Rubens

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'This informative and beautifully illustrated volume is surprisingly ambitious in scope' - The Burlington Magazine

A richly illustrated book exploring Ruben's work from 1609 and 1621

In 1600, Peter Paul Rubens left his home in Antwerp to travel to Italy and study the Italian masters. Eight years later, he returned to Belgium and quickly established himself as one of the foremost painters in Western Europe. This book explores Rubens' work from 1609 until 1621 and how, acutely aware of the possibilities for commercial success, he rose to fame by establishing a "brand" and promoting himself.

He created multiple versions of paintings with subjects that had proven to be successful, used similar subject matter to that used by famous artists in the past, and sought collaborators to create more ambitious works than he could have done alone. He also created a studio and workshop with numerous students and assistants, the most famous being Anthony van Dyck who frequently collaborated with Rubens. Through paintings, drawings, and prints, this book shows how a desire for commercial success influenced and changed Rubens' artistic style.

Essays delve into Italy's effect on Rubens, on the narrative aspect of his paintings, and how he managed commissions from famous patrons. Filled with new insights on the most fruitful phase of Rubens' career, this book offers a refreshing look at one of the most influential Baroque artists.

Rubens's sketches invite us to indulge in his art. They are powerful, vivid renditions of a variety of themes, from ancient history and mythology to religion, still life and portraits. They combine seriousness of purpose and a zest for life, transmitted through a masterly lightness of touch.

Their small size and appearance of incompleteness draw us in and entice us to look closely. Their sheer quality is a great source of pleasure and learning. This catalogue presents detailed studies and superb illustrations of eighty-two of Rubens's most eloquent oil sketches, and two essays explaining the historical context from which they emerged, their salient features and how they were viewed by contemporaries.

Details
  • Author: Sasha Suda, Curator and R. Fraser Elliot Chair, Print & Drawing Council and Interim Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Kirk Nickel, Assistant Curator of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
  • Paperback: 280 pages | 100 colour illustrations
  • Date published: May 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-3791358444
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 25.2 cm

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