Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) automatic translate
The great artist Peter Paul Rubens was born June 28, 1577, by fate, far from the homeland of his ancestors - in the small German town of Siegen (Westfalen). The sixth child of the lawyer Jan Rubens and the merchant’s daughter Maria Peipelinks was destined to become the leader of the new aesthetics and art of Flanders, a state that, even in the year of the painter’s birth, did not even exist on the political map of the world. Only in 1609 was concluded the long-awaited truce between Spain, Holland and Flanders, which initiated the revival of the country, destroyed by perennial wars.
In Flanders, as in many states of medieval Europe, the main role in the life of the state was played by the Catholic Church, along with its supporting feudal nobility and a higher layer of burghers. It was these layers of high society who were the main customers of works of art. Because of this, the wide spread in Flemish painting received majestic altar images, created by the order of the Catholic Church and large-format paintings designed to decorate castles and city palaces of noble Antwerp people. The main genres in the art were mythological scenes, biblical subjects, sumptuous still-lifes, ceremonial portraits and hunting scenes.
Jan Rubens was a representative of the ancient Antwerp genus. His flight to Germany in 1586 was caused by a sympathetic attitude towards Protestantism. Initially, the family settled in Cologne, where a respected lawyer received the post of attorney for Anna Saxon - wife of William I of Orange, who was the leader of the Netherlands resistance. Soon, between the lawyer and the princess, a love affair arose that ended with the birth of their daughter. The scandal erupted almost killed Jan Rubens - he was sentenced to death by William, which was in accordance with the laws of that time. Only the incredible efforts of his wife, Rubens, he was able to go free from prison imprisonment about going into exile in the small town of Siegen. The whole family lived there, until the death of Jan Rubens, who died at fifty-seven years after a long illness. Only after this, in 1578, Mary was able to return to Antwerp with her three younger children - sons Peter and Philip and daughter Blandina.
Return to Antwerp
In Antwerp, Peter and Philippe were sent to study at the Latin school of Romboutsa Verdonka, in which they remained until 1590. Soon their sister got married, and the mother sent Philip to the university in Louvain, so that he could follow in the footsteps of his father and become a respected lawyer. And the younger Peter, as was customary in noble but not wealthy families, entered the service to Margarita de Ligne, the widow of Count Philippe de Dalin. There, Rubens learned court etiquette and refined manners, and realized that his only vocation was painting. Although, to the mother allowed Peter to obtain the profession of the artist, the young man took a lot of time.
In the first teachers of her son Mary chose her distant relatives - artists Tobias Verkhakht (1561-1631) and Adam Van Nort (1561-1641). The second of them was really an excellent painter, highly respected by his contemporaries, but he was known as a wayward man, who was quite rude with his students. Soon Rubens entered the workshop to Otto van Viet (Venius) (1556-1629) - the most famous Antwerp painter. The teacher had a serious influence on Peter’s perception of artistic aesthetics, instilled in him the skills of careful study and composition, developed interest in the intellectual aspects of painting. Even becoming an independent artist, joining the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke (in 1598), Rubens continued to improve his art, based on the principles of his last teacher.
Life in Italy
Rubens, like many Flemish painters, including Otto van Vieta, was absolutely sure that «the true light of art comes only from Italy.» In early May 1600, he rushed to meet his dream, obsessed with the idea of getting into this treasury of painting, sculpture and architecture, in order to understand the very essence of art. Arriving in Italy, the painter worked hard, studied the technique of old masters, copied their canvases. He conquered the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Correggio, Michelangelo, but the most powerful influence on him was the works of Titian, as well as modern art from artists - Michelangelo and Caravaggio and the Carrach brothers.
Rubens understood - to become a «great artist», it is not enough just to study art, we must immerse ourselves in culture, customs, the very life of the Italian people. Therefore, at the end of 1600 the artist entered the service of a court painter to the Mantua duke Vincenzo I Gonzago, who was considered a kind and meek collector, patron of art, a passionate admirer of art and science. On his behalf, Rubens copied many works of famous masters. In addition to fulfilling his direct duties, the artist often participated in the diplomatic affairs of the duke.
For example, it was Rubens who took gifts from Vincenzo I to the King of Spain, Philip III, and his Prime Minister, the Duke of Lerma, in 1603-1604. The walls of Gonzaga’s palace were decorated with a whole collection of portraits of «the most beautiful ladies in the world: both princesses and women who are not titled.» A number of portraits of this famous series of historical archives were performed by Peter. Unfortunately, the «beauty gallery» has not survived until today, but perhaps it was the reason that the artist was sent to the court of the King of Spain.
Over time, the pride of Rubens began to suffer greatly due to the fact that Gonzaga used his talent exclusively for making copies, albeit great, but other people’s paintings. The artist did not like the technique of writing custom portraits, when the face of the model simply fit in from the nature in the pre-prepared composite scheme.
Possessing the ability to find his own unconventional approach to any genre, no matter how interesting he was to him, Rubens breathed new life into the strict «canonical» framework of the court portrait, freeing him from the severity of writing, the detachment of the model and the stagnant composition. The artist introduced movement and life into the genre of the portrait, added a richness of color and strengthened the value of the surrounding landscape background, making it a worthy expression of monumental art. Having spent eight years in Italy, Rubens painted many portraits of aristocrats, for example, the Marquise of Brigid Spinola Dorp (1606, National Gallery, Washington), The Self-Portrait with Friends from Mantua (about 1606, the Museum of Valraf-Rihartz, Cologne ), as well as a portrait of his patron - the Duke of Mantua.
Perfectly developed visual memory, painstaking training and strict discipline allowed the master to achieve such accuracy and hardness of the hand when creating sketches and drawings that among contemporaries he no longer had equal. Thanks to this, it was Rubens, in spite of the claims of all the best Italian artists, received a large order for writing the altarpiece for the altar Chiesa Nuova.
The execution of this order was followed by his disturbing news of his mother’s severe illness. Rubens rushes to Antwerp at the very end of the summer of 1608, but does not have time to find Maria Peipelins alive. The artist was very worried about her death. In memory of the «best of mothers», he installed on her grave a statue, which he made as an altarpiece for Chiesa Nuova in Rome. But, despite this tragic occasion, the return of the painter to his homeland occurred at a very good moment. Finally, the long-awaited twelve-year-long peace with Spain was signed, foreshadowing peace and prosperity for the country.
The Trustee of the Infanta Isabella
Upon learning of the return of the already well-known painter to his homeland, the Archduke Albert and Infanta Isabella, on behalf of the Spanish crown, who at that time ran Flanders, invited Rubens to serve. And that the master agreed and did not return to Italy, where he had a stable position and high pay, the ruling couple offered Peter significant concessions and a whole series of enticing privileges.
Thus, Rubens was presented with a gold chain, given the honorary position of a court painter, assigned a high fixed fee for each work ordered, in addition to which he was promised substantial additional remuneration. Contrary to the rules by which the painter would have to move to Brussels to live at the court of patrons, Rubens was allowed to stay in Antwerp, he was exempt from taxes and the rules of the guild of St. Luke.
From such conditions could not refuse any artist, so Rubens no longer returned to Italy. Endowed with a subtle mind, a sense of tact, charm, and the ability to have an interlocutor with him, the artist made a brilliant career as a diplomat, promoted by the fact that he was constantly communicating with the most influential and wealthy noblemen of many countries. Far-sighted Infanta Isabella knew perfectly well that the art of the master gave him free access to many of the noble royal houses in Europe. She decided to take advantage of this and made Rubens his unofficial messenger. During the portraits, the artist held secret talks on behalf of the Spanish crown. Thanks to the surviving historical documents, it can be concluded that most of them had a favorable outcome.
Soon the personal life of the master was adjusted. In 1609, Rubens met with the secretary of the city court in Antwerp, Jan Brant. His young beauty-daughter Isabella conquered the heart of the artist with her charm of Rubens. The thirty-two-year-old artist married her after only a few months, on October 3, 1609. The artist’s happy marriage was founded by a tender and strong love. His fortune Rubens reflected in the painting «Self-Portrait with Isabella Brant» (1609-1610 years, Old Pinakothek, Munich).
The canvas is distinguished by its special magnificence, virtuosity and brilliance. The painter carefully wrote out all the decorations and details of expensive suits, flaunting an accurate and delicate figure. On the face of Isabel Brant is read sincere joy and happiness, underlined by a gentle, almost imperceptible smile. The artist himself portrayed himself calmly looking at the viewer. Open look and the right features emphasize the nobility and dignity of Rubens, his aristocracy. And although the self-portrait is close to the classical front portrait, the artist in his work goes beyond the strict traditional framework of this genre, giving the viewer the opportunity to feel his love and affection for the young wife, their mutual consent and tenderness.
Having created several portraits of his adored wife, for many years of their life together, Rubens always portrayed Isabella very truthfully, accurately and with great feeling, leaving the background of the picture dark and blurred, so as not to distract the viewer’s attention from the woman’s face.
Universal recognition and pedagogical talents
A huge success and recognition brought the painter prosperity, of which his exhausted parents could not even dream of a dream. In 1610, he bought a spacious house, to which he had attached a studio, and the facade was decorated with a sculpture, thus realizing his architectural projects created in Italy. In this stylized house under the palazzo in Antwerp, the artist settled with his family.
The artist’s debut in his hometown was a large order for the hall of the Antwerp Town Hall - the painting «Adoration of the Shepherds» (1608, Antwerp). The painting is strongly influenced by Italian painting, with bright cut-off contrasts, a former distinctive feature of the artistic style of Michelangelo and Caravaggio, which Rubens often used in his works of this period on religious and mythological subjects. Compositional and coloristic construction «Adoration of the Shepherds» almost exactly repeats the painting Correggio «Night», with only a few additions. On this occasion once spoke the French artist Delacroix, noting that Rubens «had a unique gift to absorb all the others... He was filled with the greatest samples, remaking them in accordance with the principle that he was wearing in himself.»
In the early works of Rubens on religious themes is also clearly read the rethinking of the Italian experience. Working on orders for the church, the artist never felt constrained by the precise framework of the canons. The execution of two triptychs for the local church: «The Exaltation of the Cross» (about 1610-1611, the Cathedral of Antwerp) and «The Descent from the Cross» (1611-1614, Antwerp Cathedral) brought Rubens success and the glory of the best painter, not only Antwerp, but the whole of Flanders. It is known that the master conceived the composition of the «Exaltation of the Cross» in Italy, but it could only be realized at home. The tangible materiality of all objects and the acute life characteristics of all the heroes of this canvas also indicate the strongest influence of the Italian school. With the works of the great Caravaggio, the work is related and the apparent internal tension and dynamics of all the poses and gestures of the heroes, full of dramatic expression.
The composition of the paintings depicting the two dramas that took place on Calvary is strong and significant. Each character has its own individual unique character, most fully revealed through interaction with the environment and other figures. The hands of Jesus in the central part of the painting «The Exaltation of the Cross» are not spread wide apart, but stretched out above his head. His face is distorted by an unbearable bout of pain, his fingers are tightly compressed, the muscles of the whole body are tense. The sharp foreshortenings of all the figures, the tangible efforts of the executioners raising the cross, the restless glints of light and shadow form a single dynamic impulse, uniting nature and man. The artist did everything possible so that the believers who are looking at this work have not the slightest doubt about the greatest sacrifice that the son of God brought for them.
The «Descent from the Cross» has a completely different inner sound. The plastic, graceful, almost graceful body of Jesus is weightless. Rubens likens Him to a beautiful flower, cut with a ruthless hand. With an incredible effort, His loved ones seek to keep the lifeless body of Christ on their weight. Near Jesus, we see his mother and friends, as well as «the most loving and weakest of women, in fragility, grace and repentance which embodied all earthly sins forgiven, sensed and now already redeemed», located in the forefront of the canvas. In general, the composition is laconic, in it we do not see images of intolerable torments, cries, harsh gestures, tears. The Mother of God restrains sobbing. Only her reddened eyes with tears on her tear-stained face and a restrained gesture of hands convey her unspeakable sorrow.
In this plot, the painter was attracted by human passions and experiences, perhaps, therefore, to him, personally experiencing the tragedy of the loss of a loved one dearly beloved, managed to write this work so convincingly and brilliantly, telling about the grief of relatives about the Ummersh. Unlike the «Worship of the Shepherds», the entire triple of Rubens’ talents was revealed in the created triptychs, reflected in the scale of the images, the power of generalization, the deep living content, combined with vivid entertainment - these are the characteristic features of the individual style of the master, which can be traced in all his subsequent works.
So Rubens received from his contemporaries the title of «the god of all painters.» The huge success of the artist, which amazed the public with the extraordinary monumentality, expression and drama of his works, attracted to him numerous students. Soon, the painter’s workshop began to be considered the best professional school in Flanders.
The artist has always tried to develop an individual gift in each of his students. But the number of people willing to enter the training for the «Great Rubens» was so great that many had to be refused. Among the «rejected» were even close friends and relatives of the master, which seriously complicated his life. So, in a letter to his friend Jacob de Bie from May 11, 1611, Rubens wrote: «I really can not accept a young man whom you recommend to me. I am so besieged with requests from all sides that some students have been waiting for several other masters for several years, so that I can take them to me. I can say with complete truthfulness, and without the slightest exaggeration, that I was forced to reject more than a hundred candidates, including my relatives or relatives of my wife, and this caused a deep displeasure of some of my best friends. « Also, the number of orders from the painter was also unrealizable.
To fulfill many of his orders, Rubens was forced to attract his students. The German artist Joachim von Zandrart wrote in this regard: «Yun (Rubens) always composed the composition of the future picture on a sketch two or three inches high, according to this sketch his students.. wrote a painting on canvas, which he then passed with a brush or himself played the most important places. « Most also his best works of the artist wrote on their own. Sandrart flatteringly about Rubens, as a teacher. In his treatise, dedicated to the master, he noted that he always «carefully taught» all the wards and «used them according to their inclinations and abilities.» From the workshop of Rubens went engravers, architects and sculptors, directed by the artist in the direction to which they were the most capable. Many of those who are trained in the workshop of a painter, later formed the pride and glory of the Flemish school. The most famous of his pupils are Franz Sliders (1579-1657) and Anthony Van Deyk (1599-1641).
Between the years 1615-1620, Rubens works become even more expressive, acquire compositional complexity, filled with rushing and pronounced Baroque features. Even written in dramatic subjects for this period being filled completely and dynamics, reassuring nature, penetrating the entire composition. The heroes of these wonderful paintings became extremely beautiful people spiritually and physically. The artist drew the theme, telling about the staunch resistance of the human spirit and its ability to exploit, heroic early example of work «Ottselyubie a Roman» and «Christ Crowned with Thorns», both about 1612, the State Hermitage, Saint - Petersburg.
For the figure of Jesus in the song «Christ Crowned with Thorns,» the artist used his early Italian sketch of a well-known ancient sculpture «centaur». This technique has been no exception, with sketches of ancient monuments for many years he served as one of the main sources of inspiration. But in this painting, especially clearly manifested an exceptional power of creativity wizard.
The figure of Christ, the assimilation of antique statue, keeps quite busy spirit peculiar to most of the works of Rubens. It is the expression of which is invested in the master image of an infinitely tragic figure of Christ, located in the center of the composition, gives a picture of an extraordinary sharpness. By investing in the product extraordinary expressiveness, the artist has achieved a perfect harmony of contrast vividly consecrated body of Jesus, and the dark background fabric, combining, thus, the emotional intensity with perfect techniques.
A brilliant connoisseur of ancient art, Rubens showed great interest in mythological subjects. The artist never ceased to marvel at the beauty of life and the human body. It should be noted that with all of this, the painter never copied the images of the ancient masters, and reinterpreted the classical ideals, converting them to «Flemish». Rubens admired the beauty of the national healthy, blooming, strong human body. More than just an artist interested embodied in human flesh to his physical strength and movement. A best subjects for such painting can be gleaned rich in Greek mythology. The most famous paintings of this period were «Bacchanalia» (about 1615, State Museum. Pushkin Fine Arts) and «The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus» (about 1618-1620 years, Alte Pinakothek, Munich).
All the movements in these pictures unusually emotional gestures emphasized rapidly developing plastic woven garments. Rubens lovingly builds complex and effective compositions, preferring to use them diagonally, ellipses or spirals.
For example, in the work of «The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus» and the people and the horses are shown at the time limit physical exertion. Body pleading for help young women form a complex rhythms of color and linear structure of the pattern. Overall, «nervous» silhouette group almost perfectly fit into the circle is broken expressive gestures. Paphos product is enhanced by the exceptionally low horizon line, by which the figure is even more impressive look, surging in the troubled cloudy sky. The composition structure dominated sharp diagonal stretching upwards.
The great strength of love, capable of overcoming any obstacle, Rubens displayed in the web «Perseus and Andromeda» (1620-1621 years, the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg). Here, Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, appears to us as the supreme incarnation of the hero, capable of any feat. The winner of the sea monster, from whom he had rescued a beautiful Andromeda, is depicted with the head of Medusa the Gorgon on the shield and numerous magical artifacts that help to cope with any obstacles. Intense internal dynamics of each line and forms heroic emphasizes themes works. Like the echo of a recent battle perceived excited posture beautiful characters paintings. The figure of the goddess of fame and cupids add pathetic sounding compositions. This also contributes to color and fabric. Multicolor colorful modulations and lightness transitions are achieved remarkably clear bright saturated colors in the coloristic, creating a symphony product. A well-known mythological story artist translated into the language of Flanders alive, adding a variety of characteristic of the inhabitants of the country of realistic detail, in a new way to reveal the content of the myth and at the same time does not lose anything from the original.
An important place in the art of the XVII century portraits occupy Rubens belonging to the mature period of his work. They reveal all the charm of the picturesque artist’s language. Creating works of this genre, Rubens stands true successor of the High Renaissance tradition, at the same time limited only by the scope of the external similarity, not deep into the psychological characteristics and mental models of the experience. Absolutely all the characters of the great Flemish overflowing life. He treated both male and female characters as like to be depicted in the portrait of a lady, first adopted by the canonical beauty, and then individual similarity. In his portraits the artist perfectly passed all the necessary signs of his age and position of the models in the community.
«Portrait of the Queen Marii Medichi» (about 1622, Prado, Madrid), may serve as a vivid example of how Rubens painted women - always a beautiful complexion, tall aristocratic forehead, very neat chin and wide-open eyes shining. Another feature of female images created by the painter was graceful fullness as a constant attribute of femininity and attractiveness.
«Portrait of the Infanta Isabella maid» (about 1625, the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg) is also an excellent example of portraiture master. Using light golden reflections cold highlights and shadows of transparent artist transmits bright charm cheerful young girls. Rubens generously enriched the performance of their models through approval of their public role. An important place in the composite structure of portraiture played a part, such as a turn of the head, a spectacular view, the position of the figure in space, festive atmosphere. He endowed aristocratic sense of superiority and a certain degree of arrogance which is not deprived of their life charm. And all the unspoken nuances of the artist revealed by a suit.
True, there were notable exceptions, such as «Portrait of Helena Furman with two children» (about 1636, Louvre, Paris) almost does not have any obvious signs of baroque portraiture. There is no expensive clothes lush and luxurious accessories. But the whole composition works are imbued with a bright serene happiness. images of mother and children are full of natural ease and special expressive charm. This portrait was a real hymn to motherhood and the critical role of women in the life of every man.
Far from being a secondary place in the entire work of the artist engaged in hunting theme. Rubens often turned to the report, devoted to the struggle between man and nature. No one showed a fierce battle of humans and animals as clearly and vividly as he did.
If earlier in the works of his predecessors, depicting animals, the main objective was usually rather a demonstration of their knowledge of animal anatomy and their appearance on the canvases, as a rule, was due to the mythological and biblical scenes, Rubens then they started to play an independent role. He created the living world where humans and beasts fought in spontaneous combat. All the paintings in this series are imbued with great effort: the passions are running high to the limit, the excited people and animals are fiercely and fearlessly throw themselves at each other.
«The hunt for lions and tigers» (1617-1618 years, the Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes) was written just at the height of the artist’s interest in hunting scenes and battles. From 1615 to 1621 years old, a painter by such subjects implemented the main purpose of his art - the chanting of the dynamism of life and realization of moments of reality, allows only a certain fraction of fiction. artworks do not produce dark impressions, they are not blowing aggression, only power and strength, irrepressible passion and desire to live.
«This horror has something delightful,» he wrote his contemporary. Creating his famous hunting scene, the master played on the public’s feelings, making empathize with what is happening on the web, as well as use a genuine interest in viewers to exotic animals.
In the XVII century Europe just discovering the unknown world of the other continents. All have heard of their existence, but very few have seen firsthand the Moors, Arabs, Bengal tigers, hippos, giraffes African and Indian elephants. Rubens often seen in zoos such exotic rich nobles, for whom he carried out work or who have seen in the course of their diplomatic missions.
Historical cycle for French monarch
The political situation in Flanders in the 1620s was extremely napryadennaya, but the artist’s life shone with all the colors. He supervised the work of painters and engravers in his workshop, designed for publishing books on various subjects, doing cartoons for tapestries, created sketches for sculpture projects and all kinds of arts and crafts products. His fame and success resounded throughout Flanders, and soon went far beyond its borders.
It was promoted by the most important in the life of Rubens order, which he received in 1621. In January 1622 the artist went to Paris to perform the agreement concluded with the mother of Louis XIII, Mariey Medichi. The essence of the contract was in the painting once for the two new galleries Palace in Luxembourg.
The first part of the paintings was to represent scenes from the life of the Queen, and the second - a scene from the period of the reign of her late husband Henry IV. Unfortunately, the second part of the order has never been executed. But the first of these has brought unprecedented success to Rubens.
Series of works «The life of Marii Medichi» (1622-1625 years, the Louvre, Paris) was an exceptional historical close work of the artist. The program was compiled images clearly the queen personally, but in the interpretation of the subjects, their sequence and the order of placement figures in the composition of the painter was given considerable freedom. Retaining the accuracy and reliability in the image of the characters, their costumes and the environment, Rubens compositions enriched with numerous allegorical details and mythological characters. For example, in the scene where Henry IV gets a very flattering portrait of his bride Mary, there are two winged Cupid, as the personification of love and marriage, but for the entire scene graciously watch Juno and Jupiter, and praised the king on the right choice.
The series consists of twenty-four large panels that tell us about the political events that took place in France in the early XVII century. Creating each picture that was incorporated into the cycle, Rubens represented it as an independent work, which, however, was part of the overall design. All product series marked theatricality, and a luxurious splendor characteristic of baroque art decorative. Despite the fact that for the execution of the order the artist had to draw his disciples, the monumental structure of songs, spectacular landscape and architectural backgrounds, upbeat flavor of these works give incomparable decorative qualities.
Since 1621 Rubens, managing to work on a cycle of Marii Medichi, was constantly on trips related to diplomatic missions of the Infanta Isabella. During one of his travels, in the middle of 1626, probably during an epidemic of plague death of his wife. Renowned artist and diplomat grieved at the death of Isabella, the former his faithful friend and a reliable refuge for sixteen years.
But time heals all, and four years later, he returned to his home in Antwerp, Rubens married the daughter of one of his friends Elena Furman. Sixteen year old beauty has captivated the artist in its beauty. He dedicated many portraits, and its image is often used for writing paintings on mythological subjects.
Harmony and peace
In the later period of his work, the artist is most drawn to the genre of landscape. This was facilitated by the acquisition of agricultural estates Chateau de Steen, located thirty kilometers south of Antwerp. Most landscapes were executed master «for itself», without the involvement of the students, so they are all different special perfection. The power and strength of the heroic images of the early works is replaced by the tranquility and harmony of the unity of man and nature. Rubens writes frequently the scene of peaceful labor of peasants and rural cheerful holidays. The landscape works painter develops the tradition of Dutch art, bringing them new ideological significance.
An earlier painting «The driver of stones» (about 1620, the State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg) features some drama. Rocks in the foreground like a soar from the earth, creating a serious obstacle to people and horses. In the later works of Rubens intonation change, nature appears to us as a single way of being, where happily and peacefully living people.
The central theme of the artist’s paintings becomes a rural nature, full of beauty and epic grandeur. His paintings seem to revive the endless expanses, primeval forces of nature, harmoniously combined with the powerful figures of peasants engaged in their daily work. In the works of «Kermes» (about 1635, Louvre, Paris) and «Peasant Dance» (about 1635-1638 years, Prado, Madrid), we do not see everyday reliability, a generic type of a strong and beautiful Flemish people loving issued by the master.
Working for your own pleasure, Rubens explored new techniques, trying to show the true, unadorned nature of theatrical effects. Dzhon Konstebl, the outstanding English landscape painter, wrote: «in any other genre Rubens did not show the extent of his greatness as in the landscape.»
In recent years the life of the master, he was tormented by severe gout. But even when he refused at first the left and then the right hand, the artist did not leave the power of the spirit, optimism and cheerfulness. May 27, 1640 Rubens made his will, and already on May 30 acute gout stopped his heart. Received tremendous recognition during his lifetime, the great «god of painters» has died.
Peter Paul Rubens was buried in the most solemn manner. Contemporaries in deep grief accompanied him on his last journey. The coffin with the body of the artist was accompanied by the choir of the Church of Our Lady and a solemn procession of sixty torchbearers, and ahead of him carrying a gold crown on a cushion of black velvet.