Want to experience a real Rubens? Then come to Flanders
If you want to make sure you are seeing a 100% "real" Rubens, you should seek out his small oil sketches.
The creative thinking process followed by Rubens is well documented. From his first scribbles and quick sketches, to the smallest design sketches in oil paint, they are always the work of the master himself. The studies were subsequently developed into a 'modello'. Rubens would then submit this to his clients for approval before painting them on a large scale.
The often huge paintings are more or less the work of his students. The master would then complete the work with a simple correction, add a little more contrast and colour, or paint the faces or hands himself. This was the only way he could meet massive (inter)national demand. In total, there are 2,500 paintings in the name of Rubens. A true Rubens has almost always been completed by one of his students.
If you want to make sure you see a 100% "real" Rubens, you should seek out his little oil sketches. In the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels you can admire some design sketches in oil.
Nowadays, contemporary painters largely create their own work, but there are still examples of cultural entrepreneurs like Rubens. Examples include Jan Fabre and his studio. M HKA houses an extensive collection of Fabre's work.
Do you want to discover Fabre outside a museum? Then look at the roof of the De Singel arts centre to admire the sculpture 'The man who measures the clouds'. The Middelheim park also has an installation by Fabre.
You could also visit the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven, where a gigantic scarab beetle is positioned on top of a 23-metre-high needle. There is no better location for this tribute to beauty, science, and knowledge, than in the most important student city of Flanders.