2018 - 2019

  The Masters of the Golden Age: Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt  
SARA BENNINGAKIKOINE001 Wed1200-1400 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

This course will study the work of the three great masters of the 17th century in the Low Countries, discussing and highlighting the stylistic and thematic differences between the northern and southern Low Countries. The Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens synthesized classical and Italian influences into a local Baroque style, and among his patrons were the royal houses of Spain, England and France. Rubens’ innovations can be found in the formation of the fleshy body type, as well as in compositional and iconographical inventions. Rubens’ influence is strongly felt in the oeuvre of Anthony van Dyck, who was a chief assistant in Rubens’ workshop, before departing for Italy and England. Van Dyck, who also worked for royalty and high-class patrons, evolved into an innovative artist of his own accord, seen especially in his portraiture. As opposed to the overflowing baroque character of Rubens and Van Dyck, in the northern Low Countries, Rembrandt van Rijn developed a contemplative, chiaroscuro based style, serving patrons from the middle class as well. The difference between the northern and southern Low Countries manifest themselves not only stylistically, but also thematically, seen in the subjects of Rembrandt’s paintings, such as the group portrait and biblical iconography.

This course will outline the work of these three great masters, while discussing the stylistic, thematic and social-political elements of their work.

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