Guillaume Geefs (10 September 1805 – 19 January 1883), also Willem Geefs, was a Belgian sculptor. Although known primarily for his monumental works and public portraits of statesmen and nationalist figures, he also explored mythological subject matter, often with an erotic theme.
This large bronze monument was created in homage to Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) who was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. The sculpture features attributes such as an artist's palette and hat (see image below!)
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.
Self portrait of Rubens (note the hat!), 1639
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