There is not much argument about the time Peter Paul Rubens made the Altarpiece of St. Ildefonso after 1639. Majority of the resources point out that it was created 1630-1632 and was commissioned by a patron of Peter Paul Rubens, which was the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, Regent of the Netherlands. The Ildefonso Altarpiece is said to pervade even the traditional and classical subjects. Rubens effectively portrays the Virgin Mary giving a vestment to the saint on the right panel, which can be compared to the Feast of Venus.
The work is considered a theatrical construction, as it also depicts the Archduke Albert, which has been dead for over nine years. Rubens’ patron, the Infanta was also portrayed as a radiant and slender young woman in the Ildefonso Altarpiece. Here, we can see how big the Patrons of great artists like Peter Paul Rubens can influence how the work of art is made. Patrons are known to direct whatever they desire to what the artist is doing.
They can influence the artists at the stage of composition, as well as supply the necessary furniture and costumes for whatever they wanted to be accomplished. Peter Paul Rubens collaborated with the Infanta Isabella to complete the Ildefonso Altarpiece, and it is of great importance to please the patrons. If the Infanta wanted to be portrayed in her youth, then Rubens should comply (Lawrence, 1999). The St. Ildefonso Altarpiece was a work of art commissioned by the Infanta Isabella for the Confraternity of Saint Ildefonso in Brussels (Morrison, 2004).
Peter Paul Rubens at that time was considered as one of the best artists in the field, and it is only appropriate that it would be him to work on the commission. Part 2 Peter Paul Rubens is greatly influenced by some of his predecessors in the world of art. He looked up to them and studied their works. In his magnificent St. Ildefonso altarpiece, one of his major influences was the artist Titian. There is a scene at the right panel of the altarpiece depicting the saint being given a vestment by the Virgin Mary.
This can be compared to the work, Feast of Venus, wherein Rubens pays tribute not only to the art of antiquity, as well as the works of Titian. This is also evident in other works of Rubens, including the Judgment of Paris and the Three Graces, which depicts nudes which seem to come to life with the glow of light and colors (HighBeam Encyclopedia, 2004). Rubens continued to travel from place to place, continuing to carry out commissions of great importance especially for the influential people.
One of the most important characteristics of Rubens is that he was schooled, with instructions in Latin and Greek. He was then a page to a noblewoman, and was a great experience of court life for him, since it exposed him to various aristocratic and royal circles, which is a good head start for him when he chose the profession of a painter. When Rubens fame spread across the lands, he started his own workshop wherein he took on various pupils and assistants.
This has lead to a great output of works, as well as earning them a great number of commissions. Rubens took no responsibility for his paintings instead, he was happy that it was his studio that carried out the works. Despite the surge in the number of works, his principal creations showed no falling off in terms of quality. He is greatly influenced by religion and other artists during that time. He has worked closely with his patrons, and indeed he was one of the greatest artist of his time.
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