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Rubens International Study Day

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Join us for a study day examining the art of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens from various interdisciplinary perspectives. The sessions will bring together established voices to explore new approaches to the artist, his works, myths and audiences.

With contributions from the Rubens & Women exhibition co-curators and leading Rubens scholars, the day will be structured around four themes: gender, beauty, love and power. Situating Rubens within his historical context, this event will address the continued relevance of Rubens’s images of women, and changing perceptions and perspectives on his art.

Want to visit the exhibition?

This event is inspired by the exhibition Rubens & Women on view from 27 September 2023 - 28 January 2024.

Use the promo code provided in your event confirmation when booking your complementary exhibition ticket.


Chaired by Dulwich Picture Gallery Director Jennifer Scott   

1.15-1.45pm: Session 1 - Gender  

Exhibition Co-Curator Dr Amy Orrock and Dr Olenka Horbatsch, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, will introduce Rubens’s writings and drawings on women. What might the evidence on paper reveal about his studio practice and the role of women in his life?

1.45-2.15pm:Session 2 – Beauty  

Jacqueline Ansell, Senior Lecturer and writer, explores the topic of beauty through the fashion of the time, its meaning and connection to the works of Rubens. 

2.15-2.30pm Break – Tea and Coffee (Provided by DPG)   

2.30-3pm: Session 3 – Love

Dr. Bert Watteeuw, Director of the Rubens House, will present new archival discoveries on Helena Fourment, fleshing out a rather meagre historiographical profile and returning agency to a mute muse. 

3-3.30pm: Session 4 – Power 

Co-Curator Dr Ben van Beneden will highlight how Rubens merged politics and power in his art, as he was not only the most internationally acclaimed artist of his time but also an important diplomat who was sent on missions to Spain, the Netherlands and England.   

3.30-3.40: Comfort Break   

3.40-4.15: Plenary        

4.15-5pm: Gallery Visit 

Image: Peter Paul Rubens, The Birth of the Milky Way, 1636-8, oil on canvas, 181 x 244 cm © Photographic Archive. Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid.