Peter Paul Rubens
1577 - 1640
Rubens was born in Germany. He was educated at Antwerp where studied art.
In 1600 he travelled to Venice. He entered the service of the Duke of Mantua,
and was sent to Spain as a diplomat.
There he painted many portraits and works on historical subjects. He then travelled in Italy, producing work much influenced by the Italian Renaissance, and in 1608 settled in Antwerp.
Rubens became a leader of the Flemish baroque school and one of the supreme genuises in human history of painting.
He painted historical and religious scenes, landscapes and portraits. His pictures are full of action and crowded with figures, often in brilliant coloring. His triptych 'The Descent from the Cross' in Antwerp Cathedral is one of his early masterpieces.
Rubens spoke several languages and acted for a few years as a diplomat, concluding a peace treaty between Spain and England (1628). He was knighted by both Charles I and Philip IV. In 1630 he retired to Steen, where he engaged in landscape painting.
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