Opening October 12, 2019, Early Rubens is a revealing exhibition of works the Flemish painter master produced between 1609 and 1621, a crucial time that marks Rubens’s rise to prominence on the world stage. Some of Rubens’s most remarkable, ambitious and large-scale oil paintings and works on paper will be featured in the exhibition – many of which have never been seen before in North America.
This time period was significant both for Rubens’s development as an artist and for Antwerp’s revitalization. Rubens’ return to his birthplace of Antwerp in 1608, after studying in Italy for eight years, coincided with a period of relative peace for the war-torn city. Rubens’s homecoming was marked by almost immediate professional success – appointed court painter to the Archduke of Austria, in less than two years he built an active studio employing numerous students and artisans and established himself as the most famous painter in Western Europe.