Peter Paul Rubens, the Seventeenth century Flemish Baroque painter and contemporary of Caravaggio, painted bodies as they would not wish to be seen in the present day. Full-bodied women's curves were never underdone: at least he was honest, and never short of models.
His religious paintings show something of the influence of Caravaggio's dramatic lighting, but his portraiture was realistic and reflective of his straightforward nature. Nothing is hidden, not even the less attractive of aspects within a family which owe nothing to physical appearances.
An exhibition of his works begins this month (October, 2005) and lasts until January 2006 at the National Gallery, London.
Peter Paul Rubens
Simon Schama writes this article for the Guardian newspaper. Click on http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1597785,00.html?gusrc=rss to find out more about the man Peter Paul Rubens before you visit the National Gallery to view the latest exhibtion of his work.