Peter Paul Rubens

Learn about PETER PAUL RUBENS (1577-1640), Old Masters artist,their past and upcoming works offered at auction at Christie's

The son of a Calvinist courtier, Rubens was born and brought up in Germany during his parents’ religious exile, although he returned to Antwerp with his mother at the age of ten after his father’s death. He enjoyed a privileged humanist education alongside his artistic studies with Tobias van Haecht, Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen, and joined the painters’ guild in Antwerp in 1598. He spent a period in Italy from 1600 to 1608, during which time he enjoyed the patronage of the Gonzagas and began his diplomatic activity, travelling to Spain as an envoy for the family.  Returning to Antwerp in 1608, he married Isabella Brandt in 1609 and established himself as a distinguished member of the Catholic community. After Isabella’s death he travelled on diplomatic business to Spain and England in the late 1620s, before returning home to Antwerp where he married again to Helena Fourment and devoted himself to painting and collecting. Knighted by both the Spanish and English kings, he became one of the most celebrated painters of the 17th century and, to the end of his life, one of the most sought-after artists in Europe.

Upcoming lots by this artist