ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rubens During 1608-1614: Works

Updated on February 22, 2020
Mark O Richardson profile image

Mark has always loved art. First it was drawing, then art history. His minor was in Art History

Self Portrait of Rubens with his wife
Self Portrait of Rubens with his wife | Source


This is an analysis of the life of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) from 1608 to 1614. During these years, there were many major events that went on during his life that had a great effect on his work. In addition, some of his most popular works were created during this time.
In relation to artists, Rubens is a legend. This talented artist produced several works, many of which are well known around the world. Most of them were religious commissions. For either practice or to show his skill, he would even do works after the style of other artists, including Michelangelo and Titian. He produced many works and was even popular in his own time.

Adoration of the Magi


Works During This Time

Throughout his career, he received many commissions. (1) He produced many altarpieces for Roman Catholic churches, which were and still are powerful images of Christ and other religious figures. (5)
His major works during this time were: The Adoration of the Magi (1609, Prado), Raising of the Cross (1610-1611, Antwerp Cathedral), and the Descent from the Cross (1611-1614, Antwerp Cathedral).
Adoration of the Magi: This celebratory work was commissioned for the Antwerp Town Hall. This established his fame. (5)

Raising of the Cross


Raising of the Cross

Raising of the Cross: This is an original use of works of ancient art in a Christian subject. This powerful piece was painted for the high altar of the church of St. Walburga. The herculean men assigned to the work of the raising of the cross do not take our attention from Christ, where the light is concentrated. (8) With this work, he combined the Italianate reflections of Tintoretto and Caravaggio with Flemish realism in a heroic affirmation of redemptive suffering. (5)

He did a few different versions of this. This is a triangular composition. Cornelis Van der Geest, a well-to-do art collector at the time, raised the funds for the commission of this work. Many other artists have used this subject as well, mainly because most commissions throughout time have been religious.

Eugene Delacroix, another well-known artist, was deeply moved by the Raising of the Cross. He compared it to Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa (1819, Louvre, Paris) and said that it was full of the style of Michelangelo. He said that Rubens was a genius and not an imitator. Delacroix said that “he was always Rubens.” (7) It is amazing to know that Rubens was admired by other great artists and had his own style. It is the originally works that stand the test of time.

Descent from the Cross


Descent from the Cross

Descent from the Cross: This is now opposite the Erection of the Cross, which gives the false impression that the works were meant to be companion pieces. (8) This work was commissioned for the Bergermaster Rockox. This work is classical and restrained in keeping with its subject and reflected the renewal of the early Netherlandish tradition of others before him. (3) This triptych heralds the beginning in a stage of Ruben’s art which is called his classical period. (4) The red of John’s robe and the white sheet holding Christ show great contrast.

It is interesting to note that Tehophile Silvestre said the following about this work: “Rubens’ Descent from the Cross has nothing Christian about it. Do you see this head hanging down, these slack and heavy limbs, this real death? This is not the God-Man who will sleep for three days but a Hercules dead forever. Decomposition has begun; this corpse will return to the elements, dust to dust; there is no resurrection in pagan death; nothing lies beyond the tomb.” (7) So, like other artists, I am sure that Rubens had his share of criticism.

The wings on his altarpieces are interesting because they show different stages in the life of Christ. For example, with the Descent from the Cross, its right wing shows Mary carrying the Christchild and the left wing shows him being presented at the temple as a baby.



Other Notable Works

Many of these religious works became images for spiritual recruitment and renewal. (2) Throughout his career, he continued to produce altarpieces for the Roman Catholic church. (3)

He worked on many other paintings during this time, including:

-The Madonna di Vallicella and Angels. (1608, Rome)

-Saints Gregory, Maurus, and Papianus. (1608, Rome)

-The Glorification of the Holy Sacrament. (1609-1610, Antwerp)

-The Lamentation (1609-1611, Berlin) Visible brushstrokes.

-Self Portrait with Isabella Brant (also known as Double Portrait in a Honeysuckle Bower). (1610, Munich)

-The Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin. (1611, Leningrad)

-Prometheus Bound (1611-1614, Philadelphia) Rubens worked on this with Frans Snyders.

-The Entombment (1613-1615, Ottawa) This was after Caravaggio’s work with the same name.

-The Four Evangelists (1614, Berlin) Similar colors, appears to have one color scheme.

-The Incredulity of St. Thomas. (1614-1615, Antwerp)

Because of his prosperity, fame, and wealth, he must have felt greatly blessed.


1. Columbia Encyclopedia. Peter Paul Rubens. Academic Search Elite Database.
2. Loescher, R. Peter Paul Rubens. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encycopedia.
3. Martin, J. Rubens: The Antwerp Altarpieces. New York: W&W. Norton & Co, Inc.
4. Martin, J. Rubens Before 1620. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University press.
5. Scribner, C. Peter Paul Rubens. Britannica Biography Collection.
6. Scribner, C. Rubens. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers.
7. Scribner, C. The Triumph of the Eucharist- Tapestries Designed by Rubens. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press.
8. Stechow, W. Rubens and the Classical Tradition. London: Oxford University Press. P. 58-59.
9. Sutton, P. The Age of Rubens. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
10. Vlieghe, Hans. 1998. Flemish Art and Architecture 1585-1700. New Haven: Yale University Press. P. 28, 29, 36.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mark Richardson


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)