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

Return of the Prodigal Son

c. 1618
Oil on canvas, 107 x 155 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

When Rubens died in 1640, he still possessed his Prodigal Son of 1618. Amongst his many grand altarpieces and dramatic mythological subjects, the creation of this rural scene, intended for his own living room, must have given him a great deal of pleasure. The biblical subject - depicted bottom right - serves merely as a vehicle for the painting of one of his earliest landscapes.

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