Art History: ‘Rubens – Picturing Antiquity’

“I think it just shows very well how Rubens worked, how he got the inspiration from antiquity, but he transforms it into something completely new and very alive.”

The Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens is most famous for his dynamic, colorful renderings of religious scenes and mythological stories. Yet Rubens’s work was also deeply inspired by the art of the past. He was a keen student of classical antiquity, engaging with ancient sculptures, coins, gems, and cameos both at home and in his travels through Italy. His friendships with antiquarians, patrons, and scholars provided a network for vibrant intellectual exchanges that informed the artist’s work.

In this episode, Getty curators Anne T. Woollett, Davide Gasparotto, and Jeffrey Spier discuss their exhibition Rubens: Picturing Antiquity, which explores how Rubens was affected by and, in turn, transformed the classical past in his paintings, drawings, and designs. The exhibition, which received major support from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and generous support from the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation, is on view at the Getty Villa through January 24, 2022.

For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-peter-paul-rubens-and-the-arts-of-antiquity

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