Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul RubensI have to go away for more testing of my high tech project. So there will be limited posting this weekend. Last year on this day, I did Richard Rodgers, one of the great heroes of my youth. And if I had more time today, I would do the theoretical physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer. But I just feel too rushed to get into explaining the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. So I’m just going to take it easy (and short) and talk about a painter.

On this day in 1577, the great Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was born. He is probably best known today as a nice way to describe women with a bit of meat on their bones, “Rubenesque.” Indeed, other than some portraits of specific named people, I have never seen a painting by him of a woman who was not fairly large. None of them were terribly overweight, but he clearly had his type. I would note, however, that generally speaking, he didn’t pick the most athletic men for models either. So maybe it was all about showing people in all their lumpy beauty.

But what is more amazing about him is the range of his work. He did everything and he did it all beautifully. There really isn’t any kind of painting that was done at that time that he didn’t do. It is hard to pick from it all, but if you click over to Wikipedia, they have a ton of his work. Here is one I especially like: Mourning Christ:

Mourning Christ

Happy birthday Peter Paul Rubens!

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