Gallery 628 - Rubens and Van Dyck
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A linguist and diplomat as well as a painter, Peter Paul Rubens was easily the most celebrated artist of his time. Although at home in Antwerp and a favorite of the Habsburgs at Brussels, Rubens also worked in Rome, Genoa, Paris, London, and Madrid. He was, above all, a public painter, in service to royal courts and the Catholic Church. His efficient studio turned out altarpieces and large canvases treating historical, allegorical, and mythological themes as well as hunting scenes. Rubens's younger colleague Anthony van Dyck, working in Antwerp and in London at the court of Charles I (ruled 1625–49), became the premier portraitist in northern Europe. His gracious and fluid manner was influential for the next 150 years, culminating in the canvases of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.