In order to take a look at Peter Paul Rubens influences we must take a look at his family. Prior to Peter Paul Rubens birth, his father, Jan Rubens, had the job of being an advisor to the Protestant princess, Anna of Saxony in Antwerp. During Jan Ruben’s employment, Anna of Saxony became pregnant with Jan Ruben’s baby. Infidelity usually meant a death sentence during this time period. However, he was not put to death, instead Jan and his family were sent to exile in Siegen, Germany, just wet of Cologne. After Jan Rubens was exiled to Siegen, Peter Paul was born on June 28, 1577. Peter Paul lived in Siegen for ten years, until his father passed away. He then moved to Antwerp with his mother, brother and sister and received a liberal classical education (Quantum,181). At the age of 13 due to his mother needing money, Peter Paul became a page to Countess Marguerite de Ligne-Arenberg. However, Peter Paul did not want to be a page, instead he was interested in painting. He learned how to paint by copying Tobias Stimmer’s illustrations (Neret, 93). And he was then granted the apprenticeship under a landscape artist named Tobias Verhaeght. Peter Paul was talented and this was noticed by many, he was soon able to apprentice under a reputable, devoted Classic, Otto van Veen.
Peter Paul Rubens was able to travel to Venice, Italy and longed to visit Rome also. For Rubens believed that Rome was the great city of artists. In Venice he meets the Duke of Mantua and goes with him to Spain to work for Felipe III. The work is not only artistic but diplomatic also. During his travels with the Duke he was able to attend the wedding of Marie de’Medici to Henry IV, the King of France at that time. Later in his life he would be commissioned, after Henry IV’s death, by Marie de’Medici to paint her life, this would be the largest commission he would ever receive.
Rubens would return 2
to Antwerp where he would receive the enormous amount of commissions from the church, state and nobility. And he would have many young artists help him complete these paintings at his studio. Many of these paintings, although painted of religious historical events, would have the faces of his wife and children painted on them. During the years of 1623 and 1631 Rubens traveled on many diplomatic missions including London and Madrid. He was appointed the private secretary of the Archduchess Isabelle where she sends him to England to try to encourage England to be open relationship with Spain. And although Charles I welcomes Peter Paul Rubens and commissions him to paint for him he does not agree to his arguments for Spain. However, during this time Charles I knights Rubens. It is also at the beginning of this time that Rubens’s wife Isabelle dies. Four years later Rubens will meet another young woman, Helene, and will remarry. He will then use her for many of his paintings. After Archduchess Isabella dies Rubens begins to withdrawal from his diplomatic ties. He purchases a castle and has three more children with Helene. It is in 1640 that he finally passes away.
I believe that Rubens largest influence was how he was raised. He was able to receive a great education and the support of his family to become a painter. I also believe that his life was greatly influenced by the period of time he was living in. As I have documented in previous paragraphs his work as a painter was intertwined with the politics of those days. A majority of his work, although religious in style, was specifically request by those who commissioned him. I also believe that his family meant a lot to him
and it was apparent because of his constant subtle placement of their faces in his paintings.
As for Salvador Dali, who was born in May 11, 1904, in Figueres Spain, his father was a lawyer and his mother raised canaries and doves. When Salvador was 7 his father took him away to school. While most of the wealthy families sent their children to Catholic school, Salvador was...
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Kren, Emil. “RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel” Web Gallery of Art. 1996. 8 April 2007
Neret, Gilles. DALI. Koln: Taschen, 2006.
Neret, Gilles. RUBENS. Koln: Taschen, 2004.
“Peter Paul Rubens” Olga’s Gallery. 2007. 8 April 2007
Quantum. The Great Masters. London: Quantum Publishing Ltd, 2003.
Ripley, Elizabeth. RUBENS. New York: Oxford University Press, 1957.
Ross, Michael Elsohn. Salvador Dali and the Surrealists. Chicago: Chicago Review
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