CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

L’Europe de Rubens

The Europe of Rubens Exhibition: 22 May - 23 September 2013

Born near Cologne, living in Antwerp after a long period in Italy, and active in the courts of Spain, France and England, Rubens (1577-1640) was an artist of European dimension. A renowned artist but also a diplomat, letter writer and entrepreneur, his work was very much determined by the European context in political, social, religious and economic terms.

The first international exhibition at the Louvre-Lens aims to shed light on Rubens’ time through 170 works by the artist, by his models and by some of his contemporaries (such as Van Dyck or Bernini), from the Louvre’s collections and from over 50 leading European and American museums.

Reflecting the European artistic culture that mattered to Rubens, the exhibition includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and decorative arts. It aims to reproduce the dynamism of Rubens’ creative output and conveys the spectacular nature of his inspiration. It also offers a few intimate moments, revealing a more personal side to Rubens.

For the sake of clarity, the exhibition is organised according to 6 themes:
– Europe’s Princely Courts
– Religious emotion and baroque faith
– Ephemeral monumentality
– Rubens, emulation and competition
– Rubens and the Republic of Letters
– The paths of genius.

At the heart of the exhibition is a room devoted to screening a film about Rubens’ travels, co-produced by the Louvre-Lens and Le Fresnoy National studio for contemporary arts (in Tourcoing). Made by Alain Fleischer, it gives a sense of the multiplicity of places that Rubens knew, by comparing old and contemporary views of European cities.

And finally, a last room evokes the artist’s correspondence through a system of sound and visuals, to which visitors are invited to contribute by reading extracts from Rubens’ letters.

The exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, curator at the Department of Paintings of the Louvre Museum, a specialist in Flemish and Dutch paintings, with the help of art historian Jahel Sanzsalazar.

The scientific committee is chaired by Marc Fumaroli, of the Collège de France, and includes:
– Paul Huvenne, Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts
– Jeroen Duindam, Leyde University
– Arnout Balis, Antwerp Rubenianum
– David JaffĂ©, former curator at the London National Gallery.

Exhibition design by Studio Adrien Gardère (Paris).


L’Europe de Rubens
232 x 288 mm., 360 pp., 460 illustrations
Catalogue of an exhibition held in 2013 in the Louvre Lens
Paris (Hazan) 2013
ISBN: 9782754106948

Évoquant la culture artistique europĂ©enne qui compta pour Rubens, l’exposition rassemblera Ă  la fois des peintures, dessins, sculptures et objets d’art. Elle tentera de restituer le dynamisme de la crĂ©ation rubĂ©nienne et traduira le caractère spectaculaire de son inspiration. Elle offrira aussi des moments intimes, dĂ©voilant un Rubens plus personnel.

Un artiste Ă  dimension europĂ©enne…

NĂ© près de Cologne, installĂ© Ă  Anvers après un long sĂ©jour en Italie, actif Ă  la cour d’Espagne et d’Angleterre, Rubens (1577-1640) est un artiste Ă  dimension europĂ©enne. CrĂ©ateur de renom mais Ă©galement diplomate, Ă©pistolier et entrepreneur, son travail est largement dĂ©terminĂ© par le contexte europĂ©en sur le plan politique, social, religieux et Ă©conomique.
Ainsi, la première exposition internationale du Louvre-Lens vise Ă  Ă©clairer l’Ă©poque de Rubens, Ă  travers plus de 170 Ĺ“uvres de l’artiste, de ses modèles et de quelques-uns de ses contemporains, issues des collections du Louvre et de prestigieux musĂ©es europĂ©ens et amĂ©ricains.