Rubens in Japan


The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo has an exhibition about the painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) until 20 January 2019. It is one of the largest exhibitions of his work ever seen in Japan.

‘Rubens and the Birth of the Baroque' focuses on Rubens' relationship with Italy. It was there that classical art and the Renaissance flourished. This rich art history ensured that Rubens developed a passion for the country at an early age. He spent eight years of his life there studying the works of Italian masters. This study made him one of the most important baroque painters.

Various works by Rubens can be seen at the exhibition, such as the portrait of Clara Serena Rubens and the canvas 'The discovery of Erichthonius'. There are also paintings by Italian artists from the sixteenth to eighteenth century.

Rubens was one of the most prominent painters of our region. He was also active as a draughtsman and diplomat. As a diplomat he regularly had to negotiate with the various royal families in Europe. And now he introduces Japan to his seventeenth-century art.