RUBENS, Peter Paul
(b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)

The Adoration of the Magi

Oil on panel, 447 x 336 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Rubens' close involvement with the resurgence of Catholicism and the struggle for power led to the production a numerous large altarpieces. His stirring baroque ideas come to the fore in The Lance (1619-20), with its emotionally charged, highly plastic figures, and The Adoration of the Magi (1624). This masterpiece is particularly impressive because of its animated, asymmetrical composition, its marvelously gradated colouring, the spontaneity of execution and, above all, the expressiveness of the depicted figures.