As of January 2023, the Rubens House will be closed for a renovation and expansion of the building. The museum is expected to reopen in 2024.
The Rubenshuis (Rubens House) is unique in the world because of its immovable heritage: Peter Paul Rubens’s former home with his studio and garden. The portico and the garden pavilion, the only original parts of the complex, are considered primary components of the collection because of their historical importance.
The well-organized and coherent art collection of the Rubenshuis contains masterpieces of seventeenth-century painting, drawing, sculpture and the applied arts. It is not very extensive, but includes works by Rubens himself and his contemporaries. All the stages of Rubens’s artistic production and different periods of his life are represented in oil sketches, half-finished canvases, copies, and finished artworks. In addition, the collection includes work from his studio, pupils, collaborators, teachers and contemporaries such as Otto van Veen and Anthony van Dyck.
Some of the paintings on display belonged with certainty to Rubens’s own collection. Other objects are illustrative of his collecting practice and his interest in antique art and Italian (Cinquecento) masters. Therefore the collection also includes antique sculptures and coins. Objects and documents relating to the private life of Rubens’s and his activities as a humanist and diplomat are also considered to be part of the core collection.
Martine Maris, Curator (December 2021)