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Rubens was a masterly painter, but he also had a great passion for architecture. ?Palazzo Rubens. The Master as Architect? is the first exhibition to present to the public this unknown side of the Baroque master.

Peter Paul Rubens was a true connoisseur of architecture. This is apparent from many of his paintings. But he also participated in some sensational building projects in Antwerp, the best known of which was his own house: the Rubens House.

In 1610 Rubens bought this house and grounds on the Wapper near the Meir, the most elegant street in the city. It was thoroughly rebuilt to his own design and extended to include a Baroque portico, a painter’s studio and a garden pavilion. In this design Rubens revealed his artistic ideals: classical antiquity and the art of the Italian Renaissance. His changes and additions to the house gave it the aura of a true palazzo, and it soon became a top attraction in Antwerp. The portico is still one of the showpieces of the Rubens House.

Rubens’s architectural ideas were inspired by such great Italian painter-architects as Michelangelo and Giulio Romano, and by Italian architectural treatises. Rubens himself published a book on architecture, intended to pass on examples of the fine contemporary architecture he had seen in Italy.

In ‘Palazzo Rubens. The Master as Architect’ you will discover the versatile architectural talent of Rubens: a passionate connoisseur, patron, designer and publisher!


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