Talk:Peter Paul Rubens

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this page definitely needs help...the guy is considered one of the genius' of painting...

Someone could start by fixing up the images..? - David Stewart 10:31 29 May 2003 (UTC)
What does "fixing up" mean, please? Adrian Pingstone 10:37 29 May 2003 (UTC)
It means someone who has a better knowledge of coding than I do might want to straighten up the overlapping images and text at the bottom of this page - David Stewart 10:43 29 May 2003 (UTC)
Isn't "Flemish" de facto European? The very first sentence makes me cringe.
The point is he also did significant work in Italy, Spain, England, France & no doubt other countries I forget... 00:15, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't the fact that he is now most widely-remembered in popular culture as a painter of plump female figures be picked up in the article somehow? Certainly he is one of the all-time great painters, let alone one of the two greatest of the "Dutch Masters", but doesn't this minor pop-cultural footnote (the fact that his name is the origin of a euphemism for "overweight") merit at least a mention? (Asked because I am hoping that someone could phrase it better than I would.)

Rlquall 01:46, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't feel like trying to phrase it better than you would, but I support the idea. Rl 07:21, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'd disagree that the term 'rubenesque' is a euphemism; it's merely a statement of fact. I can recall that one particular feminist writer (Gloria Steinem, I think) saying that Rubens must have hated women seeing as how he portrayed them as being so large and - well - fat! On the contrary, he adored his mistress who just happened to be a large lady - Pete C 13:52, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Excellent! Get us a source and we have a whole new paragraph. :-) Rl 15:17, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC) (talk) 22:12, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

"Peter Paul Rubens is probably just as well known in the English world today due to his affirmation of the beauty and sensuality of the plus-sized woman.
Rubens was very fond of voluptuous and plump women and he featured them wherever possible in his paintings." - (talk) 22:15, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Two corrections[edit]

1) The article said that the "Allegory on the Blessings of Peace" in London's National Gallery is Rubens' only surviving ceiling painting. But earlier in the article there was mention of his ceiling painting for the Banqueting House at Whitehall, a painting which still exists. Therefore I deleted the sentence about the only surviving ceiling painting, etc.

2) The article stated that Rubens was the greatest painter in European art together with Rembrandt. This made it sound as if they were the only two such great painters, which would not be NPOV consensus of critics and historians; whereas simply mentioning Rubens as one of the greatest painters would be more acceptable for NPOV. I also thought there should be a mention of the Baroque, with which Rubens is so strongly identified. InvisibleSun 19:23, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Removal of info[edit]

Ghirlandajo has removed a section because: "(rm inane section full of crap: the largest collection of his paintings was held by the Hermitage Museum, prior to the Bolshevik lootings)" This is the "inane section full of crap" in question:

Current location of his works[edit]

Major collections of Rubens' work can be found in Belgium and throughout the world. The largest collections are housed in

While the section may be incomplete and incorrect in some aspects, I don't see why it gets treated with such rude negativism, with an irrelevant reference to where the largest collection was before the Russian revolution. Notice also that before my changes, the only reference to major collections was: "A renowned collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings and cartoons is displayed in the collection of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida." I think that my section at least was more complete and highlighted some of the largest current Rubens collections. I think it is rather preposterous that someone who claims that Rubens is not a Baroque painter (see Antwerp, Revision as of 14:53, 30 May 2006) deletes information from this article in such a childish way, instead of just correcting and if necessary expanding it. I'll leave the removed section out for now, as I want some discussion of this by other people, and don't want to start a revision war, but I think a list of major collections is a normal part of an encyclopedic article on an artist (see e.g. Hieronymus Bosch, which has a list of works with location; Rembrandt, which has a section on Museum collections; Salvador Dali, which list the largest collections of his work). Anyway, no matter if you like the section or not, at least act mature and discuss it in a reasonable way. Fram 15:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

The articles you cited above are slovenly organized and are not models of layout. After 35,000 edits in Wikipedia, I can tell you that such sections serve to practical purpose and are edited on principle: "Ok, there is a Rubens or two in our local museum, let's add it here as well". Even after massive auctioning of Hermitage works in the 1930s, the Hermitage website lists 52 works by Rubens extant in the collection. Whereas a search through Ringling museum website produced seven works only. I don't even speak about the quality of the works presented. Therefore, the section I removed is arbitrary in content and unencyclopedic in spirit. You may replace it with a generic phrase "Given the productivity of Rubens's studio, it is hardly surprizing that every major art gallery of the world boasts a number of paintings attributed to the Flemish painter". --Ghirla -трёп- 15:40, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
35000 edits and still no basic civility? Congratulations. I had left in the Ringling collection for now, as that was mentioned before and I hadn't had the opportunity to thoroughly check if it deserved to be there. I had forgotten, indeed, the Hermitage (though I still don't understand what the bolsheviks have to do with the section): apart from that, the section is not arbitrary in content (incomplete is not the same as arbitrary), and is encyclopedic in spirit (the possibility that other people will add other musea is no counterevidence to this). Almost every artist entry in the Wikipedia has a list of major works by that artists: the same argument ("I'll add my own favourite as well") can be used then as well. The articles I cited above may be, in your view, slovenly organized and not models of layout, but they were at least better than the Rubens article, which needs a lot of work and attentio, and I attempted to add correct, interesting, encyclopedic content. But if you perhaps only accept examples from featured articles, then take a look at El Lissitzky, which ends the section of selected works (oh, what if someone adds another one, how unencyclopedic!) with "Large amounts of his work are on permanent display in galleries worldwide. Much of his collection of Proun works can be viewed in the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, with other abstract works on display in Sprengel Museum in Hannover. His work is also part of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.". Are you going to delete that as well? Then you can take on the featured article Henry Moore as well, which in the section "permanent exhibitions" states: "Moore's sculptures and drawings can be seen at numerous national art galleries around the world. Notable collections are held at", followed by a list of locations ... So, apart from one museum that should not be included and one that should be (which could have been done easily by a simple edit), do you have any serious remarks? Fram 19:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
So much talk and not a single valid argument? Congratulations. The value of the lists of major works is quite irrelevant for this discussion, although I believe that such lists should be split into separate articles, just like orders of battle are. As for you El Lissitzky comparison, it show how little you know of either him or Rubens. El Lissitzky's work is scarce, therefore major repositories of it may deserve mention. By contrast, Rubens was one of the most prolific painters of all time, therefore if you are going to compile a list of museums holding his works you should include every major art gallery here. You may as well replace this list with a link to List of notable museums and galleries to save your time. --Ghirla -трёп- 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Another possible solution would be to arrange the museums by the number of Rubenses held in their collections. The adoption of clear criterion would make the list more informative and less selective. --Ghirla -трёп- 15:43, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, it looks like it is a more common problem with this prolific contributor, as can be seen here: "Ghirlandajo is warned to avoid incivility or personal attacks. Passed 7-0, 04:19, 27 January 2006 (UTC)" Fram 20:22, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
It would have been great if you cited a diff in which I subjected you to a personal attack. If you can't, your actions may be viewed as an attempt at intimidation in a content dispute. --Ghirla -трёп- 15:40, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
"incivility or personal attacks", was what I quoted. Do you dispute that your arguments for the initial removal of the section were an example of such incivility? I notice that, after I have given another list of examples, you no longer dispute that such a section is quite normal, acceptable and encyclopedic, and try to constructively work for making this a better section and a better article. I applaud this and have no problems with your suggestion, but that doesn't mean that I like the way you, with all your experience, handled this. If pointing this out, and showing that my impression of this may be correct, based on your prior actions towards other people, is wrong in your impression, then feel free to ask for mediation or whatever else you find a good solution. Fram 18:38, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Redirection from "Rubenesque"[edit]

Currently, "Rubenesque" redirects to this article, but where I'm from, the word sees very common usage, and is certainly more acceptable and prolific than "Big Beautiful Woman." At the very least, I think "Rubenesque" should redirect to the BBA article, as that article states the origin of the word same as this one does. In the meantime, I'm adding a note at the top that informs the reader of the redirection. Thoughts? -Sestet 00:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Ruben's Landscapes: an assessment of Ruben's as a landscape painter[edit]

Today I think Ruben's landscapes are more appreciated. He really was a very fine landscape painter. Mark Faraday 07:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)Mark Faraday 2:17 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Nothing on Ruben's Family[edit]

  • Need an answer to a general question of sorts about historical fact. There is nothing in the article about his wives and many children!
  • re: Pieter Paul Rubens trying to verify this quote: "His first wife Isabella Brant had died in 1625, taken from him by disease, at the age of thirty-five, in the prime of her life.
Any leads or confirmation would be appreciated. Thanks // FrankB 03:03, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


There is also no evidence for his birth at Siegen (Germany). Rubens himself wrote "né en Anvers", and the birthplace at Antwerp is open to visitors. Maybe one of his siblings is born at Siegen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Small article[edit]

I just noted how small this article is! ChristianGL 01:09, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I should also note about what a image gallery it is becoming. FMF|contact 00:41, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, not only is the article short, but it is fully of factual errors and misleading statements. It really needs a facelift. Even the introduction makes it sound like he was primarily a diplomat. Diplomacy was certainly a calling, but he was first and foremost a painter (even when sent on diplomacy missions). There are lots of little things:

  • Rubens "was a diplomat best remembered as the most popular and prolific Flemish and European painter..."
  • "He moved in 1610 to the Rubenshuis". No, he began building a large studio on the Wapper that is now a museum known as the Rubenshuis (Rubens House).
  • "In 1600 he went to Venice, Italy, where he worked as a court painter to the duke of Mantua, Vincenzo I of Gonzaga." Yes, and no. He went to Italy around 1600, but he was the court painter to the duke of Mantua in Manuta, not Venice.

These are a couple of things that. I wont fix the header yet, but the other two I might as well. This article really needs the attention that Rubens deserves. --Stomme 01:03, 18 March 2007 (UTC)


Why is Rubens called a "Flemish... painter"? He was born in Westphalia and was active throughout Europe, chiefly in Antwerp, which was part of the Duchy of Brabant at the time. I can't detect any notable Flemish connections.

Different reasons: Antwerp is currently in Flanders, and most painters of the North of France, most parts of Belgium, and even the South of the Netherlands, have been called "Flemish Painters" for a long time. The "van Eyck" brothers were Flemish Primitives, even though they were not primitive and from Limburg. Flemish painting, which needs a lot of work, gives some background. Fram 19:42, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

There are different reasons (notary proceeding concerning his mother: she was highy pregnant in July 1576 and stayed for this reason in Antwerp till October 1576) to believe that Rubens was not born on 28 June 1577 in Siegen, but in 1576 in Antwerp. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaja 55 (talkcontribs) 13:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

No Flemish connections? His parents were Flemish people who had emigrated to Germany for religious reasons, he trained and worked most of his life in Flanders (which by his time referred to a region larger than the County of Flanders, and included the Duchy of Brabant) and was known everywhere as Flemish (il fiammingho). Of course, since the establishment of Belgium there has been a 'devoir de récupération' of Flemish art and science by the Belgian state coupled with a denigration of contemporary Flemish people, language and culture. And only in such context can statements denying his Flemish nationality be understood.Reginadelmondo (talk) 07:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I have removed a personal attack from your post. Please don't make personal attacks on Wikipedia, it's a blockable offense. Fram (talk) 08:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Why is Rubens first emphasized as a diplomat and not a painter?[edit]

This is an ostentatious gesture showing acute knowlege of Rubens' fascinating biography, but works to confuse the wikipedia goer seeking general information. While Rubens actions as a diplomat are important and surely merit recognition and even elaboration, such facts should not precede his primary role as the foremost painter of his era. Clever erudition is often a mask for pretension--not that there's anything wrong with that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:13, 29 March 2007 (UTC).

Article is a disgrace and needs urgent revision[edit]

This article is not in correspondence to Rubens importance as a painter. The content is mostly sketchy and includes rather trivial statements (f.a. about the 'Rubenesque')that belong into a 'trivia' or 'popular culture' section. Rubens immense influence on European painting for centuries to go isn't even mentioned. A person unfamiliar with the work and life of Rubens certainly gets the impression he was just a painter of limited art historical importance. This article deserves urgent revision. Who can help? May 7 2007

I did a little bit of work to it. I still need to add references, but I ran out of time for now. All of the information I added is published in both general and scholarly sources.--Stomme 14:23, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

De Medici part is worng[edit]

I don't have time for this right now: the De Medici part is wrong, he never started the Henry paintings, they were promised as a commission but only after he did a series of Henry's wife, Maria De Medici first, which he completed though he never got to do any about Henry (which he wanted to very much). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:32, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

Debatable: yes. Wrong: perhaps. Verifiable: certainly. I did lessen the statement to say he began work instead of started painting. There remains debate about different oil sketches belonging to the cycle, and the program was never completed, but the statement largely owes to Belkin, Rubens (1998): "The Henry cycle was indeed begun by Rubens soon after he completed the Medici pictures, but continued only sporadically. After Marie's banishment in 1631 it was abandoned completely." (p. 175). --Stomme 07:56, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I have also cited Julius S. Held's article, "On the Date and Function of Some Allegorical Sketches by Rubens" (see bibliography). This explains some of the debate about work on the cycle to that point in the literature. However, yes, it is a problem in Rubens's career that hasn't been solved and has been discussed in detail by many. --Stomme 08:43, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I think that this website is more usefull than the others for findind Ruben's works. There are 265 images with information about year, support, their location and the genre. --Oriolhernan 12:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

It is linkspam. Please read WP:EL re: guidelines on links which are encyclopedic, and those which are not (for instance, those with many advertisements). JNW 14:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

NOT a British Citizen[edit]

The article calls Rubens "Sir" Peter Paul, but it is not customary for persons who are not themselves British citizens to be so styled, even if the have received an honourary knighthood. (talk) 23:34, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I doubt this convention had been created in Rubens' time, & he is often so called. Johnbod (talk) 00:25, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
He may have been knighted, but that does not make him Sir. For example, Bill Gates was knighted by the Queen of England, but as an American citizen he holds no title. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 19:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
see my last comment; this is a modern convention. Johnbod (talk) 01:59, 13 August 2010 (UTC)


Rubens is called a 'Flemish' painter. He wasn't. The city of Antwerp, the closest thing he had to a home, was not a Flemish city until the 1970s! His nationality was complex, as the ideology of nations did not exist yet, but Brabant, South-Netherlands or even Spanish would summarize the political unities Antwerp, and thus Rubens, were part of. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

biscuit tin[edit]

I have a biscuit tin by Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640 is it worth keeping has a beautiful picture on top of tin — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Feminist Lens?[edit]

Glancing at the paragraphs under the "Art" section this wiki article seems biased towards a feminist type reflection on Peter Paul Rubens. Reading wikipedia on the daily this struck me as odd as I thought wikipedia was, for the most part, trying to be impartial on most things. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8801:FA00:DA0:702A:214D:9AB7:C671 (talk) 08:43, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

lost work found[edit]

Reubens portrait of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham found in scotlend (talk) 22:43, 24 September 2017 (UTC)