In Rubens' day, being fat meant that you were rich, and being pale meant that you didn't have to work out in the sun. Rubens was a rich man - he had a house and a studio in town and a couple of big country places. He would do the sketches of the paintings and then the apprentices would fill in the blanks. If you wanted him to paint it himself, you paid him extra.
In the studio section of Rubens house were several examples of his paintings. We were to see more in the local church, but it was Sunday so we couldn't go in as they were having services.
Don't forget the street musicians. They are pleased to entertain you!
I was surprised to see local music students on the street, but when you are studying you need that money badly.
The piano player was fun to see; he was a real entertainer.
OK this is just an excuse to use the pic but as a bit of background.
This is Jan Theodoor van Ryswyck who was an Antwerp-born poet, satirist and political philosopher. Despite being married with three children he led a rather Bohemian lifestyle and was a regular at the infamous inn "In 't Zwart Peerdeken" (The Black Pear Blanket??).
His literary output was prodigious and he is considered to be one of the "fathers" of Belgian independence.
Unfortunately he died quite young, aged 38, in the Antwerp lunatic asylum on May 7th 1849.
He does look a bit mad with this hairstyle ;-)
dEUS are an Antwerp-based band who take on the world, armed with a suitcase full of Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Pixies and Radiohead. Their music is never straightforward, always with a twist that makes it stand out of the ordinary, nice melodies flirting with the experimental. Although gaining popularity on the post-Nirvana grunge wave across the world, they have a lot more to offer than the typical loud-quiet-loud song-structures which have become so typical for this scene. With their moody frontman and video-artist Tom Barman, their live concerts range from the clumsy and annoying to the brilliant and ingenious.
The Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is perhaps Antwerp's most famous resident, he was born in Germany but moved to Antwerp after his father died in 1589, moved to Italy and returned again when his mother died in 1608. You can visit Rubenshuis on Wapper Square, his house and studio from 1610-1640 when he died, see his four altarpieces in the Cathedral of Our Lady and many of his paintings in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. There are also a couple of his paintings in St. Paul's Church, the Rockox House Museum and in St. James Church where he is buried.
My photos are of the statue of Rubens in Groenplaats Square near the Grote Markt.
The most famous Antwerpian of all times was without doubt a painter Pieter Paul Rubens (1577-1640).
He especially liked to paint women's bodies (at least partly naked). His woman-models were of so called "Rubens shape", a little fat, I mean.
Some people say that most guys prefer "Rubens - shape" women despite they don't want to admit it. Hmm... I don't know :-), although look at me and my Hungarian friend I met in... Bolgaria once. I noticed that "Rubens - shape" women were often very funny and sympathetic, was I wrong?
Where to find Rubens works?
Rather not in my home :-) Try to guess why...
OK, in ANTWERP you can find them mainly in:
1. Rubens House = Rubenhuis (ten works),
2. Our Lady's Cathedral (Onze Lieve-Vrouwkathedraal),
3. Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten - 21 paintings and oil sketches).
4. St. Pauluskerk,
5. Rockox House,
6. St. Augustinuskerk,
7. St Jacobskerk,
8. Museum Plantin-Moretus.
One of the greater things of VT is that it tickles you curiosity and therefor widens your view. Walking through Antwerp I found the statue as in the picture alongside the "Leien". Never had heard about this Baron Leys. Still, I take a picture and am wanting to find out who he is. Long live internet, which learned me that he was a historical painter whose careful reconstructions of life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, made him a teacher to many worldfamous painters.
The Antwerp music scene.
Antwerp has a great popculture. A lot of music bands are from Antwerp and some of them are well known in the world. Most known is probably dEUS (photo), but also K's Choice, Zita Swoon, Dead Man Ray and the Clement Peerens Explosition. Maybe you can go to some music pubs in Antwerp. Who knows you meet a group going to surprise the whole world.
Places where you can see some live music: Hof ter Loo and for big events Sportpaleis
The school of fashion members.
Antwerp has some very well known fashion designers. They are called the Antwerp Six and you've probably already heard of them: Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck (Walt), Martin Margiela, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Ann Demeulemeester. They all graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy in the early eighties and have conquered the world. Of course they have their own boutiques in Antwerp although most of their fashion shows are in cities like Paris.
The most illustrious of all Antwerp citizens, has to be Peter Paul Rubens. This great Flemish master lived and worked here and some fifty of his paintings and oil sketches are on show, many in the very place for which they were originally intended. In 1601 he was appointed city painter of Antwerp and court painter to the archduke and duchess Albrecht and Isabella.
Yu definitely have to visit the Rubens’ House. it was bought by the painter in 1611 and extended with a home and studio to achieve all the trappings of the palazzo he had seen on his travels. It was here that he received scores of distinguished guests and that he built his dazzling career. The museum houses ten works by Rubens, including his self-port-rait, Adam and Eva in paradise, Henry IV in the battle for Paris; and a portrait of Anthony van Dyck as a boy. Also on show are many objets d’art, which either belonged to him or date from his time.
You can find the Rubens' house in: Wapper 9-11, 2000 Antwerp. (http://www.antwerpen.be/cultuur/rubenshuis/index_eng.html)
Antwerp is famous for its fashion and is becoming a major trend-setter in the European fashion world. The driving force behind the Antwerp fashion scene is the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
The great breakthrough came at the British Designer Show in London in March 1988 with six young designers: Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Marina Yee. They became known as the Antwerp Six. They managed to design a real ‘Belgian Look.’
Thanks to the attentions of the international press and most of all thanks to the enduring qualities of new graduates (s.a. Véronique Branquinho, Raf Simons, Lieve Van Gorp, Anna Heylen, Wim Neels, Bernard Willhelm, A.F. Vandevorst, Jurgi Persoons, Josephus Thimister, Patrick Van Ommeslaghe and Angelo Figus), Antwerp has become an international magnet for fashion lovers.
The Antwerp fashion scene is concentrated around Nationalestraatand inspires the entire neighbourhood.
Stimulated by the Flanders Fashion Institute, a joint venture between the private and the public sector is working to bring together in one building, the Modenatie, a new fashion museum Modemuseum MoMU and a new home for the Fashion Department, including postgraduates in traditional crafts. This new location is intended both as a working space for students and designers and as a meeting- place for fashion enthusiasts.
Yearly treat is the Fashion Show of the graduating students of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts; 6000 spectators from Belgium, France, England, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Japan pay a visit to Antwerp to participate at this event.