The artist’s background information
Baroque era describes the period between 1600 and 1750. It is derived from Portuguese word that whose meaning implies a pearl that is flawed or one that is irregular in shape. The term was used to imply strangeness, abnormality and extravagance, mainly in music. It is only recently the term has been used cover large scope of art (Lambert, 2004, p. 1-3).
Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577 at Cologne during the times of saints Peter and Paul. He lived l between 1577 and 1640. He is one of the famous artists of Baroque period (Duiker and Spielvogel, 2009, p. 451). He fled to Germany with his family escaping religious persecution. At a very tender age, he went back to Flanders after which he was devoted to religion. He trained under local master artists. By 1598 He had become a master in arts.
Since Flanders was under the influence of Spain by then, the State and the Catholic Church are the two entities that supported artists. Rubens benefited from this sponsorship and was trained for eight years. He studied renaissance art in Italy. He got regency appointment to become a court painter, and this way he improved massively on his art career. He owned a large studio at Antwerp. This studio is known to supply Europe with popular, noble paintings.
A part from being a master in Painting, Rubens also played a diplomatic role in the 17th century European politics. He became a diplomat who was highly regarded by the Spain and England kings. His physical attributes have been explained to be very charming and attractive. He is also explained to have had a tall stature with regular faced rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes that were restrained (Magister, 2010).
The eye – catching aspects in the artist’s work
His art work is known to have an exuberant Baroque style. It emphasizes movement, emotion, color and sensuality. An example is what is depicted in one of his works: The Horrors of War (Wright, 2007, p. 104). His memory lies in his counter-reformation altar – pieces, portraits, landscapes and history paintings with nobility. One of his famous paintings is “The history is the raising of the cross” a triptych, painted in 1609-1610.
His painting resembles the works of the artist Michelangelo (1475-1564). His art work expresses passion, outrageous technical skill and very inspirational. “The history is the raising of the cross” art piece portrays bravely strong, muscular bodies. It reveals immense power. It builds up dramatic tension with the happenings or rather scenes of the moment. Just like Caravaggio, his works greatly capture the figure of Jesus Christ.
Rubens’ artistic skills have developed an effect on the viewers’ eyes through the painting. From the painting on the left side, draws a high contrast lighting of Christ’s body, and brings out the emotions just as those developed when a person reads a certain Bible verse. Finally, through the presence of the rope and figure, our attention is stil captured by Christ. The artistic talent of Rubens is stil revealed through his works throgh the paintings on each side of his figures.
The essay has effectively addressed the Baroque period works in light of what was done by Peter Paul Rubens. Generally, the works of Rubens are characterized by emotion, movement, color and sensuality. They evoke religious emotions and remind me of the many emotional instances that I have encountered in my life especially with respect to religious undertakings.
Duiker, W.J., and Spielvogel, J.J. (2009). World History: Volume 1. Boston: Wadsworth,
Lambert, G. (2004). The return of the Baroque in modern culture. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Magister, S. (2010). Art Renewal Center: Web Gallery of Art. Retrieved on September 4, 2011 from
Wright, C. (2007). Listening to Western Music. NY: Cengage Learning. Retrieved on September 4, 2011 from