Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)

A Landscape in Flanders

Mechelen, near Antwerp, about 1635-40

Oil on wood

89.8 x 133.8 cm

This slightly elevated view shows the countryside around Het Steen, the castle that Rubens bought in 1635. 

Here he painted landscapes for his own pleasure, away from the demands of wealthy and powerful patrons.  In this case, he painted over a figure subject which shows through to the right by the shepherd. The artist did not go in search of a landscape full of picturesque incident.  The flat local countryside enlivened with effects of light and atmosphere is enough to create a dynamic image.  A shower has passed by and the sun breaks though the wind-swept cloud, casting a multitude of lights and shades below.

Purchased 1940 (No.40.11)

See this painting in the Red Gallery