Tag: baroque

Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)

On the 30th of May, 1640, death of Peter Paul Rubens, the most important Baroque painter from the Flemish Netherlands. Rubens was not only a well-educated scholar and painter, but also businessman and diplomat. He made religious altarpieces, portraits of royalty, mythological paintings and hunting landscapes. All his paintings are impressive big pieces with lots of color and typical Baroque-emphasized movement and sensuality. He run a large studio in Antwerp which is now the Rubenshuis Museum.

Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), “The Descent from the Cross” (1613), 420x320cm, Oil on Panel, Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium.

Here are two of his paintings. It’s “The Descent from the Cross” (1613), which is the 4×3 meters magnificent central panel of a triptych, which is still in its original place in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium. The body of Christ is lowered from the cross, with very energetic support of Saint John (in the red mantle). Mary Magdalena is gracefully supporting Christ’ leg and Mary, a mother in despair, is stretching out her arms towards her son. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are placed on both sides of the scenel.

Also here is a 2×3 meters big painting of the legendary hero “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” (1614). Chief counselor to the Persian king, Daniel fell victim to his jealous co-officials. They plotted against him and threw him into a den of lions. But that plot truly failed! Daniel keeps on staring up and praying towards the light of heaven. And he stayed unharmed! Next day he was freed without a single scratch. A strong moral: look up when things get you down; keep your head up and think positive!

Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” (1614), 224x351cm, Oil on Canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Jacob Jordaens (1593 – 1678)

Jacob Jordaens (1593 – 1678), “Susanna and the Elders” (1653), Oil on Canvas, 203x154cm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen.

On the 19th of May, 1593, birth of Jacob Jordaens, one of the top Flemish Baroque painters. Here is his “Susanna and the Elders“. The painting learns us that the concept of female beauty is changing over time. The story in a nutshell: as Susanna bathes in her garden, two lustful elders observe her and threaten to claim that she was meeting a young man unless she agrees to come with them. Susanna refuses to be blackmailed and at the end virtue triumphs. Look at the dog! It’s the symbol of fidelity and he is already barking at the elders.