Rubenshuis

Antwerp, Belgium

The Rubenshuis ('Rubens House') is the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in Antwerp. It is now a museum.

A year after marrying Isabella Brant in 1609, Rubens began construction on an Italian-style villa at the time located at the banks of the canal Herentalse Vaart. Rubens designed the building himself, based on studies of Italian Renaissance palace architecture that also formed the basis of his Palazzi di Genova. The layout included his home, studio, a monumental portico and an interior courtyard. The courtyard opens into a Baroque garden that he also planned.

In the adjacent studio he and his students executed many of the works for which Rubens is famous. He had established a well-organised workshop that met the demands of his active studio, including large commissions from England, France, Spain and Bavaria and other locations. He relied on students and collaborators for much of the actual work. Rubens himself, however, guaranteed the quality and often finished paintings with his own hand. In a separate private studio he made drawings, portraits and small paintings without the assistance of his students and collaborators.

Rubens spent most of his lifetime in this palace. After his death, his wife Helena Fourment rented the building to William Cavendish and his wife. After the Cavendishes left in 1660, the house was sold.

The city bought the house in 1937, and after an extensive restoration the Rubenshuis was opened to the public in 1946. Dozens of paintings and artworks by Rubens and his contemporaries were installed in the rooms, as well as period furniture. Paintings include his early Adam and Eve (c. 1600) and a self portrait made when he was about fifty.

The Rubenianum, a centre dedicated to the study of Rubens, is in a building at the rear of the garden.

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Address

Wapper, Antwerp, Belgium
See all sites in Antwerp

Details

Founded: 1609
Category: Museums in Belgium

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Suzanna (11 months ago)
Lovely place to visit, however it was a bit overcrowded. The audioguide was a little long (at times mundane) but a great journey to walk through. A shame that some places were closed off due to preparations for the 4 yr renovation, but looking forward to visit again once they are complete. ?
Robert Sheairs (16 months ago)
The house has a great collection of art assembled by Rubens himself, and the audio tour is informative. Original furniture was interesting to see. The lighting throughout the house is very dark, and the "flow" is a bit confusing, due to the small size of the museum. On the night we went, there was a life study class taking place in one of the rooms, and the teacher needed to keep telling visitors not to stand in certain places, as the visitors were blocking the lighting on the live model in the center of the room. It was very awkward, and made it difficult to see all of the art on display.
Amihan De Los Santos (2 years ago)
This could have been a very good experience, learning, and culture & art exchange, a very good history information. But it's not managed well with big, multiple groups in small rooms inside the mesuem. The biggest let down is the very rude staff especially those at the ticketing counter. People are paying, please know that.
Aleksandar Grahovac (2 years ago)
Besides being one of the best European artists, Rubens was also an enthusiastic art collector, devoted student and teacher through all his life. Numerous peaces of art can be seen in his house in Antwerp. His friends, students, teachers and antique artists je admired took their place with their works on the walls and in the garden of his house.
Meryam (2 years ago)
Beautiful and interesting museum, but it could’ve been better! Unfortunately it was too crowded to actually enjoy looking at all the rooms. The audio guide was a bit too long, I would’ve liked to read more. It felt like everything in this museum was focused on the audio guide. And there was no free toilet to use?
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