For many years in the seventeenth century, this house in the center of Antwerp was the residence and workplace of the Flemish painter and diplomat Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640).
In 1631 Rubens hosted a prominent visitor here at his home, namely Marie de’ Medici, the widow of the assassinated King Henri IV of France and the mother of Louis XIII. Presumably it was during this visit that Marie de’ Medici commissioned Rubens to paint a series of monumental allegorical pictures giving her version of her life and hard times.
Twenty-four of these paintings are now on display in the Louvre in Paris, as I have described in my post Ruebens and Marie de’ Medici in the Louvre.
The Rubens house in Antwerp is now a museum devoted to his life and work, and also the work of some of his students and assistants.
According to the museum’s website, the garden of the Rubens House was “completely re-laid” in the 1940s. “For the large decorative elements, such as the fountain, the wooden doors and the pergola, the garden architect was able to refer to paintings of Rubens and his surroundings.”
This Velo-Antwerpen bike station is located directly in front of the Rubens House.
Address: Wapper 9-11, Antwerpen
My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2020.
See more posts on Antwerp, Belgium.