One of the most important painters of the 16th and 17th centuries, Peter Paul Rubens was born in Germany and worked as a painter in the palaces of various dukes in Europe. After he started working with Vincenzo Gonzago, the duke of the city of Venice, he saw Michelangelo‘s paintings and started to develop his paintings in this direction.
During his time in Italy, Rubens developed himself in the field of art, blending master names such as Raffaello, Michelangelo and Corregio in his paintings and using this knowledge of art, especially in religious and mythological subjects.
After settling in Antwerp in 1609, Rubens married Isabella Brant and started to build an Italian-style villa. The design of the house is entirely his own. When you enter the house, which he would use as a studio and workshop, from the street, it first opens to a courtyard decorated in baroque style.
The building, which has many rooms, is filled with the works of both his students and himself. The studio, which worked like a painting factory in its period, was sold after Rubens’ death. In 1937, the house was bought by the state, underwent various restorations and became a museum where Rubens’ artworks and paintings were exhibited and opened to the public in 1946.
Rubenshuis, which is now a museum with its magnificent architecture and historical artifacts, is one of the places that deserves a visit on your trip to Antwerp. The rooms are equipped with many paintings, most of which are by Rubens. It is also possible to see various sculptures, especially mythological beings, in the rooms decorated with the furniture of the period.
One of the interesting places in the rooms is the bedroom. The bed, which is almost like a box, is flattened and short, and people of the time slept in a slightly sitting position, because lying in this way prevented the blood from filling the brain.
Another unusual product is the wooden mechanism that we can call an ironing board. People living in the same period would put their towels or clothes between this wooden mechanism and squeeze them to ensure that the materials were smooth.
Rubens was a painter who was declared a diplomat by the king of Spain in the years after he moved to Antwerp. He was one of the artists who managed to achieve wealth during his lifetime. He died in 1640 and his grave can be seen in Saint Jacob’s Church.
To enter the Rubenshuis, you need to buy your ticket from the ticket point in the middle of the road in front of the entrance of the house. When you buy your ticket and leave your backpack, you can enter the Rubens House Museum with your ticket.
The entrance to the Rubens House and Museum is paid, but if you have an Antwerp City Card, you can enter for free. Rubenhuis is open to visitors between 10:00 – 17:00 every day except Monday.