Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Rubens' House - Antwerp

If you are visiting Antwerp and are interested in culture, you just have to visit the beautiful house of Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens was born in 1577, in Antwerp. However, to study classical Roman and Italian Renaissance art, he spent eight years in Italy. He liked it so much there so he hardly wanted to come back to Antwerp. But alas he had to. In 1610 he and his wife Isabella Brant bought a house and a piece of land in Antwerp. He enlarged the house and gave it a flair of an Italian palazzo. If you can't go to Rome, take Rome with you!

He had himself assembled an internationally admired collection of paintings and sculptures at the house. Here he also produced most of his work.

Even on a slightly, clouded autumn day the garden was beautiful, and you can imagine it in the summer. The audio guide takes you around the house and all the paintings and other art work. The paintings are explained, here are also the wonderful, gilded wall papers, absolutely amazing (again!). I passed a lovely dining room with a portrait in each end of Rubens and his second wife. Absolutely wonderful room. Going up-stairs you come over to the other side of the house. At the ground floor at the very end there is a gallery of fantastic paintings.
The dining room, the most beautiful
room in the house
A bedroom

à l'Italia
One thing, I didn’t know, and which I found fascinating was that Rubens used to buy works from other painters and then ‘improve’ them in colour, structure, or even change a farm lady to a noble lady. The painting was fabulous. Normally, he let his pupils do these kind of exercises but, obviously, he did some himself. I was just wondering if one could do these things then? I am sure it is not possible today. However, this is maybe the only reason why the original painter is seen today?
The gallery

The fire places were amazing, here as well as in the printing house. Those wonderful ones where you can walk inside! Just love them. 

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