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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Wapper, Antwerp, Belgium
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Founded: 1609
Category: Museums in Belgium


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robert Sheairs (8 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.
Aleksandar Grahovac (11 months 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 (12 months 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?
Preety Parahoo (14 months ago)
Ruben's house was a very emotional visit , such a man with great vision ,his kitchen was impressive for those days when very few facilities were available .his medicinal garden with its original geometrical shape was marvellous. The wood work in his house is still strong and impressive.the paintings and self portrait are beautiful.
Alexandros Papafotiou (17 months ago)
This place would have been more enjoyable if 1) the audio guide was not so incredibly long-winded and mundane 2) it wasn’t so crowded, especially for the limited space available in the rooms of the house The house is very interesting to see, so are the ornaments and paintings. But if you actually want to spend time there and learn something you better go equipped with patience.
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