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Peter Paul Rubens

The Ringling Art Library

Belkin, Kristin Lohse. Rubens. Phaidon, 1998.

  • Belkin is a Rubens specialist who has contributed to the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. In this captivating survey of Rubens, Belkin explores his techniques and practices, his early years in Italy and Spain then his subsequent return to Antwerp, his allegorical and iconographic content, is allegories of love and war, and his late landscapes and genre paintings. Belkin closely focuses on two themes: Rubens’ relationship with and artistic representation of women and his fixation on peace, as an artist and as a diplomat.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 B46 1998

Oppenheimer, Paul. Rubens: A Portrait. Cooper Square Press, 2002.

  • This biography reveals how Rubens defined the Baroque art movement and examines and interprets Rubens' paintings, drawings, and letters to recreate the age of war, art, theater, and politics in the seventeenth century. Oppenheimer draws readers into Rubens’ life by focusing on his search for an understanding of beauty, which is explored through several themes: Rubens and the question of beauty, the idea of absolute beauty, human and superhuman beauty, kings, queens, ministers, and the angelic, sensuality, and beauty and physics.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 O67 2002

Rooses, Max. Rubens. Translated by Harold Child, Lippincott, 1904. 2 vols.

  • In these two volumes, Rooses—a leading Rubens authority—paints a comprehensive picture of Rubens’ life and provides historical context for and critical analyses of Rubens’ most celebrated works. There is a table of contents for both volumes at the end of volume two, as well as lists of Rubens’ works and an index of proper names of persons and places.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 R75 1904

Note: Click here to access HathiTrust's digital copy of vol. 2.

Lamster, Mark. Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens. Nan A Talese/Doubleday, 2009.

  • Lamster provides an authoritative biographical account of Rubens’ life and art, as well as his contemporary culture and society. Not only does Lamster closely examine Rubens’ artistic masterpieces, but he also focuses on the diplomatic aspect of Rubens’ life, which was steeped in religious conflicts and political intrigues.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 L25 2009

Magurn, Ruth Saunders, editor and translator. The Letters of Peter Paul Rubens. Harvard UP, 1955.

  • This collection contains English translations of the complete collection of Rubens correspondence. Of the 250 letters, 188 have not appeared in English before this publication and 10 have never before been published anywhere. Magurn’s aim for this volume is to bring to life Rubens’ spirit and style of expression to illuminate “the significance of his correspondence both as a personal record and as a historical document” (ix). Magurn also provides readers analyses of the political climate in Europe at different periods of Rubens’ career in order to help readers better understand the contents of individual letters, as well as Baroque civilization as a whole. This volume presents exceptionally fascinating primary source reading. Personal correspondence can provide a very illuminating portrait of a person’s life.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A3 1955

Warnke, Martin. Peter Paul Rubens: Life and Work. Translated by Donna Pedini Simpson, Barron’s, 1980.

  • Warnke examines three influential factors of Rubens’ paintings: the artist’s personal sphere, the humanistic and ecclesiastical environment, and the political world; the final chapter discusses several of the techniques Rubens’ developed for his works. Warnke states, “each chapter is intended to address from a different perspective the question of what in Rubens’ work has been retrieved from his life, in order that we might reflect upon it with reason” (x).

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 W3513

Mariam, Mariu. Rubens. Translated by Amina Ali-Sha, Aldeasa, 2001.

  • Mariam provides readers with a brief survey of Rubens’ life and works. This book can serve as an introduction to Rubens’ significance in the Baroque era and provide readers with a foundational understanding of Rubens’s historical and cultural context.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 M37 2001

Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Rubens. Translated by Data Translations, Irene Schaudies, and Jan Liebelt, Snoeck, 2004.

  • The one hundred and sixty works presented in this catalog are some of Rubens’ most famous paintings, sketches, and tapestries, and the essays are meant to provide a complete and objective survey of Rubens. The essays focus on Rubens’ early career, his Italian period, his works based on scenes from antiquity, his religious and secular commissions for the clergy and princes, his altar paintings, church ceilings, allegoric tapestries, and much more.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2004

Suda, Sasha and Kirk Nickel, editors. Early Rubens. Art Gallery of Ontario and DelMonico Books, Prestel, 2019.

  • This publication accompanies an exhibition that focuses on the period of the Twelve Years’ Truce when Rubens had returned to Antwerp from Italy, when he had established the groundwork for his career as an artist, diplomat, and businessman. The exhibition focuses on this period because during that time, Rubens had become “court painter to the Hapsburg archdukes in Brussels … established his workshop, led the production of Counter-Reformation painting throughout the North, and re-established Antwerp as a social, economic, and cultural capital” (Directors’ Foreward, pg. 7).

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2019

Hearn, Karen. Rubens and Britain. Tate, 2011.

  • This compact, but illuminating book explains the subject matter of Rubens’ large-scale oil sketch for the ceiling of the Banquet House at Whitehall Palace in London, one of the most complex sketches ever produced by Rubens, which is on permanent display in Tate Britain. Hearn also provides a brief, but informative survey of Rubens’ career.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 H43 2011

Lawson, Susan. Rubens. Chaucer Press, 2006.

  • This book is meant to be a relatively short introduction to Rubens’ diverse oeuvre, with a focus on various themes, including sex and violence in Counter-Reformation Antwerp, portraits and landscapes, decorative cycles, altarpieces, architecture and theater, and flesh and the body. Given the renewed desire for extremes in contemporary society, Lawson’s aim is to bring Rubens’ painting to a wider audience, or even a new audience.

Call Number: N 6973 .R9 L38 2006

Auwera, Joost Vander, Marc Vingerhoedt and Sabine van Sprang. Rubens: A Genius at Work: The Works of Peter Paul Rubens in the Royal Museums of Fine arts of Belgium Reconsidered. Translated by Catherine Robberechts and Irene Schaudies, Lannoo, 2007.

  • Although this catalog focuses exclusively on the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium’s collection of Rubens’ works, the scholarship presented here is certainly valuable for its illumination of important new questions regarding the technology, theory, and history of the works and of Rubens as an artist. The essays in the publication also delve deeper into Rubens’ creative process and painting technique, which has yielded new art historical insights.

Call Number: N 6973 .R9 A4 2007

Knackfuss, H. Rubens. Translated by Louise M. Richter, Velhagen & Klasing; H. Grevel, 1904.

  • At the time of publication of this English edition of Rubens, the volume had been published in seven editions in Germany, which illustrates its significance. It is a guide to the great Flemish master’s work and presents various illustrations and edifying prose to help readers understand Rubens and his works. Richter does a magnificent job at preserving Knackfuss’ captivating narrative of Rubens’ history.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 K65

Note: Click here to access HathiTrust's digital copy of this publication.

Van Hout, Nico and Arnout Balis. Rubens Unveiled: Notes on the Master’s Painting Technique: Catalogue of the Rubens Paintings in the Antwerp Museum. Translated by Michael Hoyle, Ludion, 2012.

  • The first volume in the “Rubens Unveiled” series and part of the Rubens Research Project of the Koninklijk Museum, this volume studies Rubens’ painting techniques. Rubens’ technique evolved over the years, and this book discusses his various technical aspects in an easy-to-ready way that, according to the Museum director, allows readers to “look over Rubens’s shoulder” to unveil minuscule details with the help of contemporary technological developments. The volume also contains a glossary of current technical terms to assist readers.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2012

Herremans, Valérie. Rubens Unveiled: Paintings from Lost Antwerp Churches. Translated by Ted Alkins, Snoeck, 2013.

  • This is the second volume in the “Rubens Unveiled” series. The aim of this particular volume is to celebrate the once looted and lost Rubenses that were recovered in 1815 and either reinstalled at their original locations (churches and monasteries in Antwerp) or housed in the Koninklijk Museum. The museum team has virtually reconstructed the four lost churches that were once homes to some of these significant Rubens paintings and has studied their cultural and historical context; Herremans elucidates those contexts for readers in this compelling and beautifully illustrated volume.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 H477 2013

Rosenthal, Lisa. Gender, Politics, and Allegory in the Art of Rubens. Cambridge UP, 2005.

  • Rosenthal’s close readings of canonical images offer new interpretations by extensively drawing on newly developed critical and gender theories. She examines the relationships between Rubens’ paintings of family and marriage, violence, war, and peace with a strong focus on gender and Rubens’ use of allegory.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 R67 2005

Sauerländer, Willibald. The Catholic Rubens: Saints and Martyrs. Translated by David Dollenmayer, J. Paul Getty Trust, 2014.

  • Focusing primarily on Rubens’ altarpieces, Sauerländer explores Rubens’s role in Counter-Reformation propaganda. He argues that Rubens’ paintings were meant to arouse emotions of devotion, though the Catholic influences have been misunderstood in the contemporary secular age; Sauerländer’s aim is to liberate Rubens’s original intention from prior misunderstandings.

Call Number: N 6973 .R9 S2913 2014

Wyhe, Cordula van, editor. Rubens and the Human Body. Brepols, 2018.

  • The essays presented in this anthology cover various aspects of Rubens’ way of portraying the human body in his paintings. The authors illuminate for readers the popular imagination and principal artistic trends of the Baroque period by examining Rubens’ engagement with the fleshiness of the human figure.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 R83 2018

Brown, Christopher. Making & Meaning: Rubens’s Landscapes. National Gallery Publications, 1996.

  • Part of the National Gallery, London’s “Making and Meaning” exhibition series, this publication is an in-depth study of Rubens’ career as a landscape artist. The exhibition argues that Rubens’ biography can be traced through his landscapes, almost as clearly as through his correspondence. This catalog is an enlightened look into a remarkable aspect of Rubens’ career.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 B76 1996

Uppenkamp, Barbara, Ben Van Beneden, and Piet Lombaerde. Palazzo Rubens: The Master as Architect. Translated by Diane Webb, Mercatorfonds, 2011.

  • The authors of this volume attempt to understand Rubens’ architectural interest and the factors that influenced his own designs by exploring works of art related to Rubens’ palazzo-style house in Antwerp.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2011

Beneden, Ben van. Rubens in Private: The Master Portrays his Family. Translated by Ted Alkins, Michael Foster, and Diane Webb, Thames & Hudson, 2015.

  • Until the time of this exhibition, Rubens’ family portraits had been relatively unknown and underexplored, and the works examined in this catalog not only present Rubens as the brilliant portrait painter that he was, but also, for the first time, as a family-oriented man. Rubens’ family portraits had never before been the subject of an exhibition, even though they illustrate a different side to Rubens than his commissioned portraits do. The essays in this catalog explore some interesting insights into Rubens’ family portraits, including a new interpretation of ‘Het Pelsken’—Rubens’ most famous portrait—which was analyzed using macro X-ray fluorescence scanning, producing extraordinary results presented here for the first time.

Call Number: N 6973 .R9 A4 2015

Barringer, Tim, editor. Rubens and His Legacy. Royal Academy of Arts, 2014.

  • This publication explores several common themes in Rubens’ works, including violence, power, lust, compassion, elegance, and poetry, and places the exemplifying works next to other great works that bear his influence. The authors reference Watteau, Delacroix, Manet, Renoir, Gainsborough, and other artists as being influenced by Rubens’ oeuvre.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2014

Held, Julius S. Rubens: Selected Drawings. Vol. 2, Phaidon, 1959.

  • This volume studies Rubens as a draftsman. Held’s aim is to lay the groundwork for a future complete critical catalog of all of Rubens’ drawings by studying his technical procedures and the evolution of his drawing style. Part one introduces readers to Rubens’ types and techniques of drawings, his copies and his development as a draftsman; part two presents readers with a critical catalog, a list of text illustrations, and books and articles on Rubens’ drawing for further reading.

Call Number: NC 1085 .R8 H38 1959

Hurd, Philippa, editor. Peter Paul Rubens: A Touch of Brilliance: Oil Sketches and Related Works from the State Hermitage Museum and the Courtault Institute Gallery. Translated by Catherine Phillips, Prestel, 2003.

  • This publication accompanied an exhibition that combined the collections of Rubens’ sketches owned by the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Rubens’ oil sketches are considered one of the most extraordinary aspects of his work, as they reveal the starting points of many of his most significant commissions, including the ceiling of the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace and the now lost ceiling of the Jesuit church in Antwerp. This publication focuses on the roles of his preparatory materials for these two ceilings, as well as other commissions.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 A4 2003

Vergara, Alejandro and Anne T. Woollett, editors. Spectacular Rubens: The Triumph of the Eucharist. J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014.

  • This publication provides readers new insights into Rubens’ art, particularly in respect to the history, creation, and display of the Triumph of the Eucharist series, one of Rubens’ most significant commissions.

Call Number: NK 3055 .A3 R82 2014

Brilliant, Virginia. Triumph & Taste: Peter Paul Rubens at the Ringling Museum of Art. Scala, 2011.

  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art holds one of the foremost collections of Rubens paintings in America, including five Triumph of the Eucharist canvases, which are the only large-scale Rubenses outside of Europe. Brilliant provides an introduction to Rubens, explores the meanings and functions of the Ringling Rubenses, and shares original provenance perspectives.

Call Number: ND 673 .R9 B75 2011

Belkin, Kristin Lohse and Fiona Healy. House of Art: Rubens as Collector. BAI, Schoten, 2004.

  • This exhibition brought together ninety-one objects: fifty-nine paintings, two ivory sculptures, one sculptural group in bronze, three antique sculptures, twelve cameos and intaglios, and fourteen drawings, all of which were either owned by Rubens during his life or are works representative of the work originally owned by Rubens. Among the many works consulted in preparation for this exhibition, Belkin and Healy consulted the invaluable sales list drawn up after Rubens death cataloging all of the works of art in his own private collection (see Appendix: Specification/An Inventory of Pictures). The essays in the catalog examine various aspects of Rubens’ private collection, including his collections of sculpture, antiquities, and drawings.

Call Number: N 5255.2 .R82 B45 2004

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