Peter Paul Rubens: Man and Artist

Christopher White, Author Yale University Press $75 (310p) ISBN 978-0-300-03778-4
In Rubens's Samson and Delilah, the seductress gazes on with mingled affection, confusion and guilt as the strongman's locks are clipped. And in a double portrait of Archduchess Isabella's two sons, the two sides of childhoodplay and studyare depicted, though each boy retains his individuality. This Flemish master brought a high degree of subtle psychological realism to portraits, genre scenes, chalk sketches and ink drawings. Surely one of the most beautifully illustrated books ever published on Rubens, this biographical-critical study examines the artist's neo-Stoic philosophy and the iconography he invented to instruct and move the faithful. Director of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, White fathoms the proud character of this court painter who, in his last self-portrait, left us with the image of a knight and gentleman rather than an artist or family man. (September 16)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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