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Rubens: the Power of Transformation

Städel Museum, Frankfurt

NOW CLOSED

Dramatic lighting, sensual bodies, heightened vitality – thanks to his powerful pictorial inventions, the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens was already a star in his own lifetime. In the 17th century, his name was a brand that stood for high artistic quality and a universal education. Comprised of more than 100 works—including 31 paintings and 23 drawings by the master—this exhibition explores a hitherto little-regarded aspect in his creative process. Rubens’s lifework abounds with forms and figures quoted from works by other artists. He looked to sculptures, paintings and drawings of many different periods as models. The exhibition reveals how profound the dialogue was into which Rubens entered with his predecessors’ and contemporaries’ achievements and fathoms the scope of their impact on the five decades of his production. In addition to original sculptures dating from classical antiquity to the Renaissance, the show also encompasses paintings and prints by Rubens’s precursors and contemporaries. Find out more about the Rubens exhibition from the Städel Museum’s website.

Preview the exhibition below | See Apollo’s Picks of the Week here

Cold Venus (1614), Peter Paul Rubens. Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

Cold Venus (1614), Peter Paul Rubens. Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

The virtuous hero crowned by the goddess of victory (c. 1615-16), Peter Paul Rubens. © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden / Photo: Hans-Peter Klut

The virtuous hero crowned by the goddess of victory (c. 1615-16), Peter Paul Rubens. © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden / Photo: Hans-Peter Klut

Head of Medusa (1617-18), Peter Paul Rubens. © KHM-Museumsverband

Head of Medusa (1617–18), Peter Paul Rubens. © KHM-Museumsverband

Judith beheading Holofernes (c. 1609/10), Peter Paul Rubens. © Städel Museum

Judith beheading Holofernes (c. 1609/10), Peter Paul Rubens. © Städel Museum

The Entombment of Christ (c. 1612), Peter Paul Rubens. © J. Paul Getty Museum

The Entombment of Christ (c. 1612), Peter Paul Rubens. © J. Paul Getty Museum

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