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Peter Paul Rubens Quotes


Peter Paul Rubens
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Peter Paul Rubens
  • Born: 28th June 1577, Siegen, Nassau-Dillenburg, Holy Roman Empire
  • Died: 30th May 1640, Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands
  • Resting place: Saint James' Church, Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands
  • Occupation: Artist, painter and diplomat
  • Style: Traditional Flemish Baroque
  • Influenced by: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Caravaggio
  • Inspired: Gustave Courbet, Rembrandt, John Constable, Eugene Delacroix and Anthony van Dyck
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"I paint a woman's big rounded buttocks so that I want to reach out and stroke the dimpled flesh"

Peter Paul Rubens

"I can tell you truly, without exaggeration, that I have had to refuse over one hundred [assistants], even some of my own relatives or my wife's, and not without causing displeasure among many of my best friends"

Peter Paul Rubens

"At present, I have in the house the flower of my stock, particularly some pictures which I have kept for my own enjoyment; some I have even repurchased for more than I had sold them to others"

Peter Paul Rubens

"I am by nature and inclination a peaceful man, the sworn enemy to disputes, lawsuits and quarrels both public and private"

Peter Paul Rubens

"This war seems without purpose.. strange that Spain, which provides so little for the needs of this country .. has an abundance of means to wage an offensive war elsewhere"

Peter Paul Rubens

"For the future I believe there will not fail to be difficulties over the subjects of the other gallery, which ought to be easy and free from scruples"

Peter Paul Rubens

"From the circle, or the perfect sphere, is created all that is feminine, and all that is of the flesh, twisting, rounded, curved and arched"

Peter Paul Rubens

"The English are increasing their insolence and barbarity. They cut to pieces the captain of a ship coming from Spain and threw all the crew into the sea for having defended themselves valiantly"

Peter Paul Rubens

"Every child has the spirit of creation. The rubbish of life often exterminates the spirit through plague and a souls own wretchedness"

Peter Paul Rubens

"My talent is such that no undertaking, however vast in size... has ever surpassed my courage"

Peter Paul Rubens

"Nearby.. ..are monsters personifying Pestilence and Famine, those inseparable partners of War"

Peter Paul Rubens

"The offers are very generous but I have little desire to become a courtier again"

Peter Paul Rubens

"My passion comes from the heavens, not from earthly musings"

Peter Paul Rubens

"White is poison to a picture; Use it only in highlights"

Peter Paul Rubens

"Painting a young maiden is similar to cavorting with great abandon. It is the finest refreshment"

Peter Paul Rubens

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Peter Paul Rubens Biography

Peter Paul Rubens was the quintessential painter who could turn his canvas into a masterpiece whether he were painting a portrait or a landscape.

He was best known for his nude art of curvaceous ladies in what became known as the Flemish Baroque style and the term Rubenesque is given full meaning as it is still used to this day to describe ladies of a voluptuous nature.



Rubens was fortunate to travel and study the Italian masters of the renaissance period and he quickly learned to hone his trade as he sketched his way through the galleries of Europe.

His work got noticed in the higher echelons of Italian society and he progressed through the major royal courts of Europe where he became the artist of choice in France, Spain and even England. Rubens became a diplomat of some note that was, along with his art, recognised with knighthoods by both Charles I of England in 1624 and Philip IV of Spain in 1630.

Today Rubens works of art can be found at the most significant art galleries in the world and on the rare occasion a Rubens comes up for sale it tends to be eventful to say the least for an old masters. Two Peter Paul Rubens paintings hold the record for Old Masters that were sold at Sotherby's and Christies auction houses. The Master of the Innocents (1609–11) fetched usd$76.5 million at Sotheby's London in 2002, while Lot and His Daughters (1613–14) by Rubens set a new record for an old masters at Christies in 2016 when it sold for usd$58.1 million

In between their brush strokes the old masters were always good for a one liner so here is my list of 15 of the best Peter Paul Rubens quotes

Quotes About Peter Paul Rubens

John Constable found inspiration: "In no other branch of art is Rubens greater than in landscape"

The historian Simon Schama spoke of where Rembrandt took his inspiration: "For an entire decade, Rembrandt measured himself compulsively against 'the prince of painters and the painter of princes': Peter Paul Rubens. To become singular, Rembrandt had first to become someone's double"

The author Roger de Piles' described Rubens temperament "He was of tall stature, of stately bearing, with a regularly shaped face, rosy cheeks, light-brown hair, eyes bright but not with restrained expression, a pleasant expression, gentle and courteous"

The German artist Max Doerner admired his technique: "Rubens avoided painting in such a way that the color sank in. The luminous clarity of his work was proof of the excellence of his technique.. ..his colors had so much brilliance and binding medium within themselves, that, like van Eyck's pictures, they had a gloss without needing to be varnished"

The philologist Jan Gevaerts was impressed to say: "Peter Paul Rubens, Lord of Steen, who among the other gifts by which he marvelously excelled in the knowledge of ancient history merited being called the Apollos not only of our, but of all time, who made himself a pathway to the friendship of kings and princes"

The poet Constantijn Huygens missed the company of his friend: "My desire to enjoy your wonderful conversation is not a passing thing. I don't know what demons have robbed me of your company"

The artist Jan Breughel was praiseful: "Signor Rubens had made a painting of the best kind in the center showing his merit, a lovely Madonna. The birds and animals are made from life from some of those of the most serene Infanta"


Peter Paul Rubens quote