Mythological paintings (until 1614)
by Peter Paul RUBENS

Rubens returned to Antwerp in 1608 from Italy, and he brought with him an interest in the heritage of Antique art and literature that developed into a cornerstone of his thinking and artistic production. After setting up home in Antwerp, he devoted himself with unfailing interest to Greek and Roman mythology, which he used for the subject of many works, mostly as private commissions.

The lyricism, eloquence and sensuality that characterise his entire oeuvre are already apparent in Rubens's mythological compositions of 1600-1620. These are often vigorous, earthy works: Venus Frigida, The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, Drunken Bacchus and Satyrs and The Three Graces. The taste for opulent forms and buxom nudes prevailing in these works, and the vitality and pantheism they radiate, took on a more intimate and even, elegiac note in the latter stages of Rubens's life.



Preview Picture Data Info
Leda and the Swan
1598-1602
Oil on wood, 65 x 81 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge


The Battle of the Amazons
c. 1600
Oil on canvas
Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam


Democritus
1603
Oil on canvas, 179 x 66 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid


Hero and Leander
c. 1605
Oil on canvas, 128 x 217 cm
Gemaldegalerie, Dresden


Hero and Leander (detail)
c. 1605
Oil on canvas
Gemaldegalerie, Dresden


Hero and Leander
c. 1605
Oil on canvas, 96 x 127 cm
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven


The Judgment of Paris
1606
Oil on copper, 34 x 45 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna


Venus at her Toilet
c. 1608
Oil on canvas, 137 x 11 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid


Prometheus Bound
1610-11
Oil on canvas, 243 x 210 cm
Museum of Art, Philadelphia


Juno and Argus
c. 1611
Oil on canvas, 249 x 296 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne


The Drunken Hercules
c. 1611
Oil on oak panel, 220 x 220 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden


The Abduction of Ganymede
1611-12
Oil on canvas, 203 x 203 cm
Schwarzenberg Palace, Vienna


Venus, Cupid, Baccchus and Ceres
1612-13
Oil on canvas, 141 x 200 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


The Statue of Ceres
c. 1615
Oil on wood, 91 x 66 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


Jupiter and Callisto
1613
Oil on canvas, 202 x 305 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel


Cupid Making His Bow
1614
Oil on canvas, 142 x 108 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich


Venus Frigida
1614
Oil on wood, 142 x 184 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp


Venus and Adonis
c. 1614
Oil on panel, 83 x 91 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg



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



© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.