The Master Painter as Architect

In 1610, Rubens bought a private residential dwelling with additional land on the Wapper near to the Meir, one of the richest streets in the city of Antwerp. The house was rebuilt according to his own design and extended with a baroque vestibule, a painter’s studio and a garden pavilion.The new design saw Rubens’s demonstrating his artistic ideals: Antiquity and Italian art. The renovated building with its sumptuous decorations inspired by Antiquity did not have its equal in the Antwerp of the day. Rubens’s changes served to imbue the house with the allure of an Italian ‘palazzo’.
For the first time ever, this exhibition highlights Rubens’s architectural accomplishments. The design, the significance and the influence of the magnificent baroque vestibule are central. In addition to works by Michelangelo, Guilio Romano, Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, prints and architectural tracts will be on display.