Born in 1577, there is more to this master of painting than just his excellence in artwork and painting. In addition to his remarkable works of art, Peter Paul Rubens was also a linguist, who was fluent in several languages…
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He is declared as the most eminent Flemish painter and artist who ever existed. His contributions are not only identifiable in his paintings and artworks, but also in the works of his students, whom he gave refined training on artwork and painting. Although he learnt artwork under several reputable painters of the time, his artwork represented a refined brand, paving a new era in the European artistic field. His innovation in artwork made Antwerp the most popular destination of painting in the 17th century.
He is notably credited with pioneering the Flemish Baroque style of painting (Rubens, Gilles and Chris, 7). This style involved use of exaggerated motion and color to depict movement in paintings and artwork, which easily produced the themes of drama, dance and music. His talents made him have more work than time could allow, making him amass immense wealth during his 30 years which he was involved in painting and artwork. However, the most interesting aspect of Peter Paul Rubens is that his talent grew with time and his expertise, refinement and abilities improved with time. Therefore, he maintained consistency in providing quality paintings, until he met his death in 1640. His accomplishments are notable to present day in different museums of Europe.
His uniqueness is identifiable in the fact that; while most of the painters of his time specialized on one kind of painting, Peter Paul Rubens engaged in different types of paintings, all of which he perfected and generated quality works (Rubens, Gilles and Chris, 13). History painting is one of his styles, which involved the creation of biblical, historical and mythological objects. To portray the historical theme, he created paintings such as monumental historical scenes and biblical story painting representations, which resonated well with his movement and color themes that advanced visualization and movement. Religious paintings also formed a bulk of his artwork. He is credited with advancing the development of altarpiece paintings, which were religious paintings portraying a biblical theme that were placed in a flame and suspended behind the altar to pass a religious message (Logan, Peter and Michiel, 23). In creating his religious paintings, Peter Paul Rubens used the panel painting technique, which entails the incorporation of different painting themes in a panel that was subdivided several times, with each section of the panel possessing a different painting, but all advancing the same theme or telling the same story (Pauw-De Veen, 243). His altarpieces were either painted in front of the altar, where the priest could stand behind, or painted on a panel that was then suspended in front of the altar. Among the most popular of his religious paintings include the Descent from the Cross triptych, which was painted in the in Antwerp, Cathedral of the Lady (Pauw-De Veen, 248). Peter Paul Rubens is also an advent of the Counter-Reformation painting, which highly changed the paintings that were previously done during the renaissance and the thirteenth century (Rubens, Gilles and Chris, 18). This refers to the artwork that sought to turn back the religious paintings into more religious oriented, as opposed to the decoration oriented themes that were being advanced during the period. During this period, the Catholic Church perceived the Protestants as a major threat to its doctrines of faith. Therefore, they sought to enhance their religious theme through the application of artwork and paintings that reflected more religious themes. Thus, Rubens, being the most eminent painter of his time, was hired to revolutionize the renaissance painting into the counter-reformation artwork and paint
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