Peter Paul Rubens
Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640), Flemish painter, the most important of the 17th century, whose style became an international definition of the animated, exuberantly sensuous aspects of Baroque painting. Combining the bold brushwork, luminous color, and shimmering light of the Venetian school with the fervent vigor of Michelangelo's art and the formal dynamism of Hellenistic sculpture, Rubens created a vibrant art, its pulsating energies emanating from tensions between the intellectual and emotional, the Classical and the Romantic.
For 200 years the vitality and eloquence of his work influenced such artists as Antoine Watteau, in the early 18th century, and Eugène Delacroix and Pierre Auguste Renoir in the 19th century. (After Microsoft Encarta 96).
Helene was the second wife of Rubens. The painter married her in 1630. She was the younger sister of Suzanne, the model of the famous painting "Le Chapeau de Paille" (see the next page).
Background: The Four Continents, Fine Arts Museum in Vienna.
Link: Rubens, WebMuseum