PETER PAUL RUBENS,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The Judgement of Paris by PETER PAUL RUBENS {Flemish School}

The Judgement of Paris by PETER PAUL RUBENS {Flemish School}


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AT the age of fifty-three, Rubens, diplomatist, scholar, most celebrated of
painters, and four years a lonely widower, married Helena Fourment, the
daughter of a silk merchant of Antwerp.

“I chose a young, middle-class
woman,” he wrote, “who would not blush to see me take up my brush; and to
tell the truth, I loved my liberty too much to exchange it for the embraces of
an old woman.” The young wife was barely sixteen, and known by her beauty
as Helen of Flanders.

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She incarnated that splendid type of Nordic goddess
whom he loved to paint; and certainly she did not blush to see him take up
his brush, for he painted her again and again-as

Mary Magdalene and the
VIrgin; gorgeously dressed and bejeweled, with her lovely ohildren-e-she had
six; and in the nude as Susanna, a nymph,

and the central figure of The Judgment of Paris.

In this strong, blond woman, Rubens found a wrfe after his heart’s desire,

but he did not squander his strength in her huge embraces: he seemed indeed,
after his second marriage, to paint with the ardency and dazzling power of
one suddenly come into eternal youth.

The Judgment of Paris, a presentation
of the female nude-assertively Flemish in its billowy opulence-as viewed
from the back, front, and side, is one of the greatest of his numerous master­
pieces, the most honest and uncompromising, the most glowing and substantial
expression of the sensuous world that has ever been conceived. No other painter
suggests so little and expresses so

much-tells everything with such lucidityand resplendent candor.

Rubens loved the nude but he was not obsessed by its sexual enticements;

nor did he create seductive animals to burn the desire of those who would find
in art an erotic stimulus. The nude is a part of his philosophical scheme, a
system including the health, the movement and the generatIve forces of the
organic world. His passion for life and his love for strapping, sun-warmed
nakedness were submitted to the sternest intellectual discipline and reduced
to a synthesis of law and order in

which no form protrudes suspiciously. There
is no heated concentration on faces, breasts, or thighs; no sly beckonings to
come and behold salacious poses;

no artful evasions-the organized sensuality
is clean and pure. His conception of the fullness and richness of life could
never have been expressed in the forms of thin women; he needed size, health,
and luxuriantly developed, wide-girthed bodies in a world of three dimen­
sions-everything that was the opposite of the mean, the stunted, and the dieted.


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