Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter - "The Resurrection" by Rubens (1611)

This is a wonderful painting by Peter Paul Rubens, a German born painter. He moved to Antwerp when he was 10 years old in 1587. His works speak for themselves and he is considered to be one of the Masters of the Flemish painters, as well as one of the chief influences of the "Baroque Period."

His paintings are largely religous in their themes, and he was unique, for his time, in painting Christ as empowered, rather than as a victim. His father had been persecuted for his religous beliefs and fled from Antwerp to Germany, seeking religous freedom. It was there that Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. When the elder Mr. Rubens died in 1587, his widow returned, with the young Peter Paul, to Antwerp, where he was destined for great things, both as an artist, as well as a diplomat.

Rubens was fluent in Latin and Greek, and became a messenger to a noblewoman, the Countess of Lalaing. Although he disliked court life, he did make friends and forge alliances, which would be of aid to him in his later years as a diplomat.

When he returned home to Antwerp, he made the decision to become a painter. A student of three masters —Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort, and Otto van Veen, he honed his skills, until in 1598 he was accepted as a Master in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. He was now a Master Painter at the age of 21.

By 1616 Rubens would go on to paint what is often considered to be the companion piece to this painting. It was called "Christ Risen." Google him and look at some of his extraordinary art.

Meantime, Happy Easter to all those who observe. And let the rest eat chocolates!

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