Born in Siegen, current Germany, on June 28, 1577,  Peter Paul Rubens moved with his family to Antwerp in 1589. He received a humanistic education and later decided to improve his knowledge with a trip to Italy. Here he lived from 1600 to 1608, studying the ancient sculpture and the masters of the Renaissance, and leaving relevant masterpieces. One of these is the triptych for the high altar of Santa Maria della Vallicella in Rome.

He then went back to his homeland, enriched with many great artistic innovations. He became the Archdukes of Flanders’ court painter, taking up at the same time a brilliant diplomatic career in Spain and England. He was sought-after by many European courts and by the major collectors of his time. His masterpieces include the famous Maria de Medici’s cycle of the Life at the Luxembourg Palace.

Generous man, devoted to his family, as well as great artist, Rubens also had a rich workshop with many apprentices, including Anthony van Dyck and other important painters. Widower of Isabella Brant, he remarried with the young Hélène Fourment and had seven children. He died in Antwerp, May 30, 1640. His magniloquent style, full of creative energy, marked the birth of the new Baroque style.