Rubens, Vermeer, Rembrandt hook to the eternal
The Flemish pittorical manner is strong en half to rule during the XVII century. Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn (Leida 1606 c.a.- 1669 Amsterdam), Jan Vermeer (Delft 1632 – 1675 Delft) and Pieter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Anversa) are Baroque Flemish most notable painters. They use Dutch tradition in order to paint particulars.
In Rembrandt and Vermeer surroundings particulars perfectly adhere to real. Talking on Jan Vermeer paintings, surroundings details confer a feeling of quieten down, differently from Rembrandt details on which eyes flow not interrupted by.
Surroundings in Rembrandt results anonimous even though filled of particulars, therefore depicted characters are at the edge immediately.
Vermeer gives relevance to brightness of the bottom, as much to realize surroundings deepness. Vermeer uses the same tecnique for open spaces and rooms. It’s so much so personal to sign our records: that’s a Vermeer’s one!
The strong division in light and dark is decisive to recognize a Rembrandt’s square. To low possibilities to fail, anytime a person is depicted in the scene, I suggest to focus on emotional traits. Rembrandt highly characterizes psychological traits. The attitude is depicted in the whole body, using tightness oppositions. Simmetry isn’t useful to describe Rembrandt’s tableau, just think back on the last theatre training you had, and it will be onward.
History of art gives interpretation to depicted objects in Rembrandt’s painting only if the object has a considerable portion in painting. In this case our guess comes from nordeuropean popular tradition. Generally Rembrandt doesn’t paint still lives, Flemish representative, however he depicts dead animals, i.e. the heron dated 1639 (used as -Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer preview- cover). The butchered ox is a painting expecially considered as symbolic. Sometimes it recalls the value of carefulness, some others supplies, setting aside for a period of scarcity.
Watching Dutch paintings light is posed on few choosen parts. We guess the choose metaphisically. i.e. a landscape is brighten somewhere preferably. The light cascade is posed on a path to follow. Admiring -bodyshape paintings- it falls on faces and on objects.
Rembrandt, The sampling officials of the Amsterdam drapers’ guild, knows as the Syndics Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum
Now in order to consider Pieter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Anversa) we note: his trait is the excess of colour. He is considered in the count of excellent Baroque Flemish due to the fact he shows opulence as well as joie de vivre. Rubens’ tableau frozes during a rapid motion. Rubens that is likened to the Italian Lorenzo Bernini, appropriates Caravaggio’s teachings on light and dark to create flesh on bones. The Flemish painter has a livened up life. He makes many movings. At the begining he leaves his motherland, he is determined to study Painting and Italy is the proper destination. There Caravaggio already rules, it’s the first decades of the XVII century. Carraccis‘ academy is as influent as Caravaggio’s followers. Carraccis’ students copy from naked models, more generally Carraccis’ are tensioned to Raphael’s (1483 – 1520) painting as their favourite ideal example.
Rubens comes first to Venice, secondary Mantua (he is employed as painter by Gonzagas’). From Mantua he settles diplomatic service between Rome and Genoa. From 1606 to 1608 he realizes the Valicella Holy Mary, a strong visual impact tableau. Plasters squares the holy Mary image, painted togheter with baby Jesus. Not far from what Bernini the Italian is used to realize. Many patron yearn for Rubens the Flemish, he is one of the very best in world.
Today we may consider Rubens painting as the balance. On one side the Naturalist Baroque carried by Caravaggio, on another one Baroque in the classical style, promoted by Carraccis’. Rubens is able to confer the highest grade of motion togheter with the excess of colour. Baroque growing artists would feed with Rubens skills.
Rubens, Wolf and fox hunt ca. 1616, oil on canvas, dim. 2,45 x 3,76 m, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Still on Pieter Paul moving: in 20ies he is supposed in Paris. Paris is arretrate in respect of Italy. To go to the Italian boot to study painting is not the trend of the moment in France. Do not untill 30ies
So Rubens absolutely appears as a talent. He will becames beloved and coveted.
Rubens not only stays in Paris in 1622, he moves to Anversa where he settles an atelier in 1625, consequently to plague, he moves to Bruxelles where he lives between 1625 and 1626. In 1628 he moves to Madrid. In 1629 he goes to England country that he extraordinary appreciate for quiete landscapes, in 1630 he lastly moves back in Anversa.
Without the proper context the “rolling Rubens” badly describes the historical figure of the Flemish painter. Rubens doesn’t travel as a man whom search for himself, better he travels as an intellectual, professionist painter, whom behaves like a diplomat; in other words Rubens is a referring point, supposed in many part of Europe, across court monarchies.
di/by Elettra Nicodemi