Altarpieces in Antwerp Cathedral
by Peter Paul RUBENS

Antwerp Cathedral is a masterpiece of medieval architecture, and also a repository of a collection of art. It houses four altarpieces by Rubens, the great Flemish Baroque painter.

The earliest of the four altarpieces, the triptych of the Raising of the Cross was in fact painted in 1610 for the high altar of Antwerp's church of St Walpurgis, which was demolished in 1817. The triptych was installed in the cathedral only in 1815. Rubens's real entry into the cathedral was marked by the Descent from the Cross. This triptych was commissioned by Antwerp's Civic Guard (the Arquebusiers) in 1611 for their altar in the cathedral.

Rubens painted the Moretus triptych with the Resurrection of Christ on the centre panel) in 1611-12, shortly after completing the Raising of the Cross and at about the same time as the centre panel of the Descent from the Cross.

The Antwerp Cathedral was given a new marble high altar during the baroque refurbishment. Rubens, the most famous artist of his day, was commissioned in 1625 to paint an altarpiece, the Assumption of the Virgin.



Preview Picture Data Info
Raising of the Cross
1610
Oil on panel, 460 x 340 cm (centre panel), 460 x 150 cm (wings)
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Raising of the Cross (detail)
1610
Oil on panel, 460 x 340 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Raising of the Cross (detail)
1610
Oil on panel
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Raising of the Cross: Sts Amand and Walpurgis
1610
Oil on panel, 460 x 150 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Raising of the Cross: Sts Eligius and Catherine
1610
Oil on panel, 460 x 150 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


The Resurrection of Christ
1611-12
Oil on panel, 138 x 98 cm (centre panel), 136 x 40 cm (wings)
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


The Resurrection of Christ
1611-12
Oil on panel, 138 x 98 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


The Resurrection of Christ
1611-12
Oil on panel, 138 x 98 cm (centre panel), 136 x 40 cm (wings)
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 311 cm (centre panel), 421 x 153 cm (wings)
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross (centre panel)
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 311 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross (left wing)
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 153 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross (outside left)
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 153 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross (right wing)
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 153 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross (outside right)
1612-14
Oil on panel, 421 x 153 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Descent from the Cross
1612-14
Oil on panel
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth (detail)
1612-14
Oil on panel
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Virgin and Child
1624-25
Oil on canvas, 151 x 108 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin


Assumption of the Virgin
1626
Oil on panel, 490 x 325 cm
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Assumption of the Virgin (detail)
1626
Oil on canvas
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp


Assumption of the Virgin (detail)
1626
Oil on canvas
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp



Summary of works by Rubens
Religious themes
until 1616 | 1617-20 | 1620s | 1630s
Altarpieces in Antwerp Cathedral | Biblical scenes
Mythological themes
until 1614 | 1614-29 | 1630s
Large royal projects | Allegorical themes
Portraits
until 1629 | 1630s
Miscellaneous
Landscapes | Hunting and other themes
Graphic works | Architecture



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