Peter Paul Rubens Masterpiece Will Be Returned

Christina Weiss, German Culture Minister, announced that a Peter Paul Rubens painting was handed to the Russian authorities by a dealer who had tried to sell the work. The work is titled “Tarquinius and Lucretia” and dates from the 17th century. The work had been stolen from Germany after World War II. In 1942 the painting was displayed at the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, near Berlin. But was lost after the Allied attack and was never seen again. Christina Weiss stated that Germany’s chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, were both involved in the search to find the painting. They will discuss the return of the work during a meeting in October. The work will need restoration due to cracks in the paint because it had been folded.

The most sought-after painter in northern Europe during the seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens, was also a diplomat, linguist, and scholar. His dynamic, emotional style with its rich texture, vivid color, and lively movement has influenced Western art to the present day.

Born the son of a lawyer and educated at a Jesuit school in Antwerp, Flanders, Rubens learned classical and modern languages. He spent the years 1600 to 1608 studying and working in Italy. Returning to Antwerp, he continued to travel as both courtier and painter. His repeated visits to Madrid, Paris, and London allowed him to negotiate treaties while accepting royal commissions for art.

One of Rubens’ major innovations in procedure, which many later artists have followed, was his use of small oil studies rather than drawings as compositional sketches for his large pictures and tapestry designs. Rather than merely drawing, Rubens’ modelli or models, established the color and lighting schemes and the distributions of shapes simultaneously.

Published in: on October 1, 2003 at 3:32 am  Leave a Comment  

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