Rubens’ mecca of art
The Flemish capital of art and fashion is inextricably linked with Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640). As I explore Antwerp, it holds myriad tangible reminders of the ‘painter of muses’. Rubens spent his life here, creating world-famous masterpieces and cementing his reputation as the most important painter of his day – and one of the greatest of all time. I sense Rubens’ presence wherever I go: his statue dominates Groenplaats square, and more than 50 of his works are on display in various museums and churches, often in the surroundings for which they were created. I’ve scheduled some time to follow in the footsteps of the greatest Baroque icon with visits to Rubens’ house, garden pavilion, studio and grave, the Rockox House (a treasure trove of Baroque art), the Plantin-Moretus Museum (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Cathedral of Our Lady, St. James’ Church, St. Charles Borromeo Church and St. Paul’s Church.