When Peter Paul Rubens, in 1600 arrived in Italy, he found the place not so bad. It happens, with foreigners. He ended up overstaying his vacation to the point that, centuries later, art historian Bernard Berenson defined the Flemish «an Italian painter»; the Belgian had spent eight intense years working for important clients, above all the Gonzaga in Mantua, and had picked up – so to speak – the basics of Italianity.
A series of favorable circumstances, a jovial temperament, an integer spirit and a predisposition to diplomacy projected the young Belgian artist on top of the list of most popular painters of his time: masters of the weight of Caravaggio and Caracci.
Titled Peter Paul Rubens And The Birth of Of Baroque, the show at the Milan Royal Palace focuses on the influence that the Italian art, mainly classic sculpture, impressed on the young talented Rubens, as anyone can ascertain viewing his naked subjects.
Likewise, the show aims at spotting the influence that the Belgian exerted on his younger fellows, like Pietro da Cortona, Bernini, Lanfranco, up to Luca Giordano and Salvator Rosa, initiating a style that would have shortly been called “Baroque”.
This comparative show brings, together with forty works by Rubens, about thirty items – between paintings of great personalities of his time, masters of Baroque, and sculptures dating back to the classic heritage.
All this to confirm the hypothesis of a double influence between Rubens and his entourage. All works coming from the greatest collections around the world as well as from important Italian collections and institutions.
Milano, Palazzo Reale October 26th-February 26 2017.