Rubens worked and lived in Antwerp. Nowhere else in the world can you feel the greatness of Rubens as well as here. The city already played an important role in the 16th century. It was like Silicon Valley is today, a place where knowledge, craftsmanship and technology come together.
According to curator Nico Van Hout, Rubens was the Quentin Tarantino of his time. Just like the controversial, but genius director and his nouvelle-violence style, Rubens cultivated violence in his early work. He specialised in horror scenes with a moral. The painter worked in a very cinematographic way and was a master of colour, composition and painting techniques. His characters look lifelike, and the skin of his figures bloodied.
In November 2016, David Bowie's art collection was auctioned at Sotheby's in London. The pop icon almost exclusively collected modern art, but he also owned a monumental altarpiece, the "Holy Catharina" by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594). This painting made such a huge impression on Bowie that he even named his record label after it (Tintoretto Music).
Rubens House Antwerp
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|Painter:||Peter Paul Rubens|
Hello. My name is Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641).
In all modesty, I must say I was a portrait painter of some distinction. However, my master Rubens was the real genius. I was his favourite student and he strongly believed in my talent.
Some say I even became his first serious competitor in Antwerp as my technique was flawless. For a long time, people believed Rubens painted my portrait. It was only after a recent technical investigation that it was revealed to be a self-portrait. My portrait is on display at the Rubens House.
Later on, I painted many portraits (and self-portraits), often with the short, pointed beard then in fashion. That kind of beard was much later referred to as a “Van Dyke” or “Van Dyke beard”.
By the way, you may call me ‘Sir Anthony’, as I was knighted by King Charles I in 1623. The king was most passionate about art and very generous. He appointed me as his court painter and provided me with a house on the River Thames. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to grow old. On 9 December 1641, at the age of 42, I died after a long illness. I was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.