“Even if, by his birth, he couldn’t claim privileges from among the old and former nobility who made him feel his position, he was regarded with high esteem by sovereigns. Rubens lives and contributes to the enhancement of the art of painting. ”
Until the 14th of January 2018, the Musée du Luxembourg presents a part of the European works of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Through about sixty paintings and eighty-nine items in total, the painter’s work is viewed from the perspective of portraits for the monarchs of the great royal courts, made during his journeys or in his workshop, during the first half of the 17th century. From Italy to France, via Brussels or Spain, the artist was commissioned by the greatest Kings represented in this display through the pictorial technique of portraiture, a genre constantly evolving at this period, due in part to Ruben’s influence.
Journeys through an Europe ruled by Princes
Italy: Patronage of Duke of Mantou
Rubens came from a family of Antwerp merchants who fled the town for religious reasons before returning during the late 1580s. He was trained by Otto van Veen, known as Vaenius (1557-1629), a philosopher and mannerist painter marked by Italian influences and who encouraged his pupil to follow his training there. Rubens arrived in Italy in 1600 and stayed there until 1608. Speaking several languages including Latin, and having received a humanist education, the young painter showed a great ease in the learning of his art and was soon hired by Vincent I de Gonzague, Duke of Mantou and Montferrat (1562-1612).
When talking about transnational inspirations for arts and culture in southern Germany, Italy is often named as the first reference. For many centuries, however, there have been various connections with the Netherlands and Flanders, which equally effected the arts and sciences south of the line of the Main river.
In the Middle Ages, dynastic contacts especially furthered the exchange. Between 1353 and 1429 the duchy of Straubing-Holland created a direct political link between the house of Wittelsbach and the Netherlands, which benefitted the mobility of artists and artisans between the two remote territories. With the so-called double marriage of Cambrai (1385) the Bavarian duke Albrecht I. forged an alliance with the duchy of Burgundy, of which several show-pieces in the Munich Residence Treasury give material evidence; such as for instance the portrait medallion of Philip the Good of Burgundy, who in 1454 was a guest of the Bavarian dukes. Continuer la lecture de Appel à communication : Batavia in Bavaria. Dutch and Flemish art and artists in southern Germany