The comparison highlights the common inspiration towards a painting secularization.

Peter Paul Rubens
The Capture of Samson

The exhibition’s final section is particularly large and impressive. It sums up Rubens’ artistic research, embracing the two cornerstones of his inspiration: the attention to the past and to archaeology, on one side, and the relationship with the contemporary world, on the other.

The first subject deals with the relationship between Rubens and the ancient, or classic, culture, but also with the great masters who came just before him and who often inspired his painting.

The relationship with the ancient world is witnessed by the presence of some classical sculptures. Among the significant archaeological pieces, loved and known by Rubens, is the pivotal Farnese Hercules, a recurring inspirational topic, evoked in his paintings several times and from several angles. Thus it is possible to compare Rubens’ work with the ancient ones, but also with paintings relating to the same subject by Pietro da Cortona (coming from the Prince of Liechtenstein’s collection”, and Guido Reni (from the Palatine Gallery in Florence).

Rubens’ inventions of his early Italian years are compared with the work of the nascent Baroque artists, driven by the same creative power. In this section there are key works showing the relationship between Rubens and his contemporaries: Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Lanfranco, Salvator Rosa and Luca Giordano. The comparison highlights the common inspiration towards a painting secularization, more and more seductive and amazing.

Peter Paul Rubens
The Discovery of the Child Erichthonius