Peter Paul Rubens, the epitome of influential educated artist of the 17th century, studied the “works of Veronese, Tintoretto, Titian and Caravaggio.” (Baroque Art n.d.) and even went through the hassle of reproducing one of Leonardo’s drawings to show that he had understood the composition and style of Italian Renaissance art. Having been raised in Belgium, Peter Paul Rubens was familiar with Flemish Traditional art which was primarily landscape and portraiture, consisted of vivid detail with reserved composition.
Peter Paul Ruben’s thorough understanding of Italian Renaissance art and Flemish Traditional art became very apparent in 1604-05 with the oil on canvas composition The Fall of Phaeton, . The Fall of Phaeton is about Helios, the Greek god that rode the chariot of the sun, who bore a boy, Phaeton, by a mortal mother. Aided by the recklessness of juvenility, Phaeton deceived his father into allowing him take the chariot. The horses at once bolted out, searing nearly anything in their way with the sun's heat because Phaeton was half mortal meaning he was too weak to control the mighty horses. As the sun tumbles across the sky, Mother Earth calls to Z...
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...ng particularly the way Rubens blends in the yellow streak of visible light while using other objects in the center of the scene. Rubens began with a thin layer of blue and a thick brush and made his painting on top of that layer additionally with thin layers with exclusion of the main objects in the center that receive a thicker coating of paint. Those objects were also painted with a much thinner brush than that of the first layer.
Rubens personified one of the most creative, skilled, and successful western artists, and his almost measureless resourcefulness of design enabled him to become a master of the finest studio establishment in Europe. As one French Romantic Artist describes Peter Paul Rubens as one who “carries one beyond the limit scarcely attained by the most eminent painters; he dominates one, he overpowers one, with all his liberty and boldness.”
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