Rubens in Private

The Master Portrays his Family



ISBN: 9780500093962 Categories: ,

Nora De Poorter, Katlijne Van der Stighelen


Michelangelo regarded portraiture as a trivial genre, and Peter Paul Rubens did not instantly develop a preference for it either. Yet Rubens succeeded, as none other, in endowing his portraits with an almost palpable sense of immediacy, and was to become one of the greatest portraitists of all time. His most beautiful and surprising portraits are those of his immediate family. These intimate pictures were not intended for public display and are therefore considerably freer and more experimental than the likenesses he painted of influential patrons. Nothing about these private images seems idealized. They are uncommonly honest and veracious and at the same time expressive of great tenderness. While the hundreds of letters he wrote reveal very little about his emotional life, Rubens s portraits of family members testify in a special way to the affection he felt for his first and second wives, his brother and his children.

Additional information

Weight 1842 g
Dimensions 25.1 x 29.6 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 September 2015
Number of pages 280
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Ben van Beneden, Foreword by Philip Heylen, Contributions by Nils B├╝ttner
Dimensions 25.1 x 29.6 cm
Weight 1842 g
Ben van Beneden is the Director of the Rubens House, Antwerp.