RUBENS chronology

  • Peter Paul Rubens is born in Siegen, Westphalia, to Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelincks on June 28.

  • The Dutch Republic (or the States General) declare independence from Spanish rule after a series of wars. The southern part of the country remains under Hapsburg rule.

  • Rubens completes his painting titled Portrait of a Man.

  • Rubens is accepted as a master in the Guild of St. Luke.

  • Rubens completes his work Adam and Eve

  • Rubens travels to Italy. He stops first in Venice, where he sees paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of duke Vincenzo I of Gonzaga.

  • Rubens travels to Rome by way of Florence, where he studies classical Greek and Roman art and copies the works of the Italian masters.

  • Rubens travels to Spain on a diplomatic mission, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay. This journey marks the first of many during his career that would combine art and diplomacy.

  • Rubens returns to Italy where he remained for the next four years-first in Mantua, and then in Genoa and Rome.

  • Rubens paints several works during this year, including Equestrian Portrait of Giancarlo Doria, St. Gregory the Great with Saints, and The Trinity Adored by the Duke of Mantua and His Family.

  • Maria Rubens, his mother, dies. Although Rubens was well-travelled throughout his career with patrons across Europe, he returned to Antwerp and settled in his Old-Flemish house that had an annexed painting studio. This painting studio was where he established a flourishing business and where he and his workshop painted some of Rubens’ most famous commissions.

  • Rubens paints Virgin and Child Adored by the Angels, Adoration of the Shepherds, Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome, and other works.

  • Rubens marries Isabella Brant, the daughter of a leading Antwerp citizen and humanist Jan Brant. He completes Rubens and Isabella Brant in the Honeysuckle Bower.

  • Rubens purchases a building in Antwerp to use as a home and studio. Rubens commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the church of St. Walburga (The Raising of the Cross). He completes The Raising of the Cross.

  • He paints Beheading of St. John the Baptist.

  • Rubens completes The Descent from the Cross.

  • He finishes The Feast of Acheloüs; Portrait of the Archduke Albert; and Portrait of the Infanta Isabella.

  • Rubens paints Judith with the Head of Holofernes, Christ Resurrected, The Stigmatization of St. Francis, and additional works.

  • Rubens completes The Great Last Judgment.

  • He completes the painting, The Union of Earth and Water.

  • While under the study of Rubens, Anthony van Dyck is discovered by Thomas Howard, a British nobleman. Rubens completes The Fall of the Damned

  • Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, commissions Rubens to paint twenty-one pieces for decoration of her Palace in Luxemburg.

  • Rubens paints Self-portrait

  • Rubens is knighted by Philip IV of Spain.

  • Rubens finishes the commission from Marie de' Medici.

  • Isabella Rubens dies.

  • Rubens’s diplomatic career is particularly active, and he moves between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces.

  • He completes of Portrait of a Woman, Probably Susanna Lunden

  • Rubens is in Madrid for eight month. In addition to diplomatic negotiations, he executed several important works for Philip IV and private patrons. During this time, he also befriended the court painter Diego Velazquez, and the two planned a trip to Italy together for the following year. Rubens returned to Antwerp, and Velazquez made the journey alone, however.

  • Lives in London after Antwerp. While in London, he completes the work Allegory of Peace and War, and presents it to Charles I.

  • Rubens marries Hélène Fourment; completes the works The Holy Family with Saints Francis and Anne and the Infant Saint John the Baptist.

  • Rubens is knighted by Charles I of England.

  • He buys an estate outside of Antwerp, the Chateau de Steen, where he spends much of his time. Rubens completes of The Forest at Dawn with a Deer Hunt and Venus and Adonis

  • Rubens completes The Massacre of the Innocents.

  • Rubens completes The Horrors of War.

  • Rubens dies from gout at his home in Antwerp at the age of sixty-two.


View of the Garden of the Rubenshuis, Antwerp, 1699 – 1732, Jacobus Harrewijn, Image Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • An exhibition of sixty paintings and some drawings by Peter Paul Rubens; eighteenth loan exhibition of old masters, Detroit Institute of Arts

  • Rubens’ workshop was converted into a museum, now known as the Rubenshuis. The current restoration of Rubens’ studio approximates an impressive size to the workshop, with large arched windows, but the original interior and decor is now lost and unknown.

  • A Loan Exhibition of Rubens: Under the High Patronage of his Excellency Baron Robert Silvercruys, Ambassador of Belgium, Wildenstein Galleries, New York

  • Drawings and Oil Sketches by P. P. Rubens from American Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (MA) (later travelled to Pierpont Morgan Library, New York)

  • Rubens before 1620, Princeton University Art Museum

  • Rubens: A Variety of Interests, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (MA)

  • Rubenism, David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence
    Tekeningen van. P.P. Rubens, Rubenshuis, Antwerp

  • Peter Paul Rubens, 1577 – 1640, Kunsthalle, Cologne
    Peter Paul Rubens, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
    Les Dessin de l’Ecole flamande au siècle de Rubens (1577 – 1640), Musée Municipal du Mont-de-Piété, Bergues
    Rubens und seine Stecherwerkstatt, Kunsthalle, Bremen
    Peter Paul Rubens und sein Kreis, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt
    Rubens a Mantova, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua
    Rubens, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
    Rubens und die Tradition der Niederländischen Landschaftskust, Graphik von Hieronymus Cock bis Schelte à Bolswert, Museum des Siegerlandes, Siegen
    Rubens in Prints, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg
    Rubens in der Graphik, Martin von Wagner Museum, Würzburg
    Rubens Drawings and Sketches, British Museum 1977

  • Rubens I Sverige, National Museum, Stockholm

  • Rubens, ses maîtres ses élèves. Dessins du Musée du Louvre, Musée du Louvre, Paris
    Rubens and the Flemish Baroque, State Hermitage Museum, Leningrad
    Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577 – 1640), Palacio de Velázquez, Madrid
    Rubens & Humanism, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham
    Rubens e Genova, Palazzo Ducale, Genoa
    Flemish Drawings from the Witt Collection, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London

  • From the Collections: Rubens and the Oil Sketch, Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Flemish Drawings in the Age of Rubens Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley (later travelled to Cleveland Museum of Art)

  • Peter Paul Rubens: Oil Paintings and Oil Sketches, Gagosian Gallery, New York

  • Peter Paul Rubens and the art of drawing in Flanders, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    The Masterpiece of Peter Paul Rubens, The descent from the cross from the collection of the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Warsaw
    An altarpiece by Peter Paul Rubens for the chapel for the Holy Sacrament in the church of St. Rombout, Mechelen, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

  • Peter Paul Rubens and Flemish masters at the Academy Gallery, Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

  • Calming the tempest with Peter Paul Rubens, Harvard Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Cambridge (MA)

  • Peter Paul Rubens: the life of Achilles, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (later travelled to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)

  • Peter Paul Rubens: a touch of brilliance: oil sketches and related works from The State Hermitage Museum and The Courtauld Institute Gallery, Somerset House, London

  • Peter Paul Rubens, Albertina Museum, Vienna
    Peter Paul Rubens: Baroque passion, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig

  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640): The Drawings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    Drawn by the brush: oil sketches by Peter Paul Rubens, Bruce Museum, Greenwich (later travelled to Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati)

  • Rubens: a master in the making, The National Gallery, London

  • Rubens and his printmakers, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    Rubens and his age: masterpieces from the Hermitage Museum, Guggenheim, New York

  • Rubens Head of Medusa from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
    Rubens, two versions of a single painting, “The statue of Ceres,” from the collections of the State Hermitage and of Mr. Hermann Beyeler, Switzerland, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

  • Rubens, a genius at work, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussels

  • Black is beautiful: from Rubens to Dumas, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
    Bruegel to Rubens: masterpiece of Flemish painting, Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh
    Flemish paintings by Rubens, van Dyck and Jordaens (1608 – 78), Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsku, Gdańsk

  • Rubens and the Manufacture of Style, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin

  • Sensual, female, Flemish: Rubens and his circle’s images of women, Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM), Vienna
    Drawings by Rubens after Old Masters, Musea Antwerpen, Antwerp

  • Rubens challenges the Old Masters: inspiration and reinvention, Alte Pinakothek, Munich

  • Rubens and the Flemings, Mostre Villa Olmo Como, Milan
    Rubens Revealed: La Furia del pennello, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten (KMSKA), Antwerp
    Prints in the artist’s studio: Rubens’s Print Collection, Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries Founders Hall, San Diego

  • The Prado’s Rubens, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

  • Genius in multiples: the acquisition of a unique drawing by Rubens with sketches for court different compositions, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussels
    Palazzo Rubens: The Master as Architect, Musea Antwerpen, Brussels

  • BP British Art Displays: Rubens and Britain, Tate Britain, London

  • Peter Paul Rubens: Impressions of a Master, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota
    Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck: known and unknown, Lviv Art Gallery
    Rubens revealed: triumph on wheels: sketch of the triumphal chariot of Kallo, Museum Snijder & Rockoxhuis, Antwerp
    Rubens, Venus, and Adonis: Anatomy of a Tragedy, Israel Museum, Jerusalem

  • Peter Paul Rubens, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal

  • The Europe of Rubens, Louvre Lens, Paris
    Rubens: Inspired by Italy and Established in Antwerp, Bunkamura The Museum, Tokyo
    Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

  • Rubens: Maverick Artist: The master’s theoretical notebook, Musea Antwerpen, Antwerp

  • Drawing in the Age of Rubens, The J. Paul Getty Centre, Los Angeles
    Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens: The Flemish Baroque, Rijksmuseum, Twenthe, Enschede
    Spectacular Rubens: The triumph of Eucharist, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

  • Rubens: sketches and silverware!, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussels
    Spectacular Rubens: The triumph of the Eucharist, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    Sensation and Sensuality: Rubens and his Legacy, BOZAR (Paleis for Schone Kunsten, Brussels)

  • Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne, Royal Academy of Arts, London
    The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian, Philadelphia Museum of Art
    Rubens and the Grand Tour, Academy Art Museum, Easton (MD) Rubens in private: The Master Portrays his Family, Musea Antwerpen, Antwerp
    Peter Paul Rubens: The Three Magi Reunited, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
    Spectacular Rubens: The triumph of the Eucharist, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    Rubens and His Legacy, Royal Academy of Art, London

  • Rubens y Amberes en blanco y negro, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba, Havana
    Rubens & Company. Flemish Drawings from the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
    Peter Paul Rubens. Resurrection. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Rubens’ Ghost, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
    Drawing from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Cambridge (MA)
    From Floris to Rubens: Master drawings from a Belgian private collection, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussels

  • Rubens’ Daughter: An Intimate Family Portrait, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
    Peter Paul Rubens: Kraft der Verwandlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
    Rubens. Princely Portraits, Musée du Luxembourg, Luxembourg

  • Rubens: The Power of Transformation, Städel Museum, Frankfurt
    Rubens & Co: Drawings of the Masters from Flanders, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation Corboud, Cologne
    Rubens. Painter of Sketches, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
    Power and Grace: Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens, Morgan Library and Museum, New York

  • Point of View #23: A Terrible Beauty – Ruben’s Head of Medusa, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
    Rubens at home, Musea Antwerpen, Antwerp

  • Pure Rubens, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

  • Rubens, Van Dyck and the Splendour of Flemish Painting, Szépművészeti Múzeum Budapest, Budapest
    Early Rubens, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
    Rubens, Rembrandt, and Drawing in the Golden Age, Art Institute of Chicago

  • Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque in the North, Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, Paderborn
    Rubens: A Journey Through Europe, Siegerlandmuseum, Siegen