Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Flemish (1577 - 1640)
Sir Peter Paul Rubens The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau About 1625 - 1628


Born 1577
Died 1640
Nationality Flemish
Birth place Siegen
Death place Antwerpen

Rubens, an outstanding artist, scholar and diplomat, enjoyed a long, prolific and internationally successful career. He painted themes from the Bible and classical mythology, portraits, landscapes and allegorical subjects. After spending eight years in Italy, he returned to Antwerp in 1608, where he set up a flourishing workshop. He generally painted on a large scale, and excelled in describing dramatic episodes through ample figures in dynamic poses, sumptuous colour and brilliant lighting. Rubens employed many assistants to meet the demand for his work, which came from wealthy patrons at home and abroad, including the kings of Spain, France and Britain.

Glossary terms

  • A general term for European art and architecture from the 17th to the mid 18th centuries. It particularly refers to works characterised by a sense of movement and theatricality.