SAINTS LIKE HEROES

Rubens’ innovative power and attention to Venetian art and holy subjects.

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Peter Paul Rubens
The Ecstasy of Mary Magdalen
1619

The second section is focused on paintings with a sacred subject. Rubens was the first to introduce extremely strong hedonistic and classical elements, like in the altarpieces for the New Church, here documented by sketches and compared with paintings by young artists strongly influenced by Rubens. Thus, Rubens’ great Adoration of the Shepherds (currently in Fermo), is compared with Pietro da Cortona’s painting on the same subject (hosted in the church of San Salvatore in Lauro), among da Cortona’s first works, pinpointing Rubens’ innovative power and amplifying his idea. This section highlights also Rubens’ attention to Venetian art, particularly to Tintoretto, with the comparison between Rubens’ Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and Tintoretto’s Christ and the Adulteress, that has the same shimmering light.

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Peter Paul Rubens
Saint Gregory the Great with Saints
1606

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