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De wandeling in de tuin

The family man

Rubens painted several portraits of his family. Something that his fellow artists hardly ever or even never did. His family portraits show how much affection he felt for them. The works were painted for his own home. Along with his letters, these works show much he loved his first and second wives, his brother and his children. Get to know the Rubens family here.

Portret van Rubens met zijn zoon Albert

Rubens's personal life

An overview

Read more about Rubens's personal life in this short overview.

Maria Pypelinckx

Portrait of Rubens's mother, September 1608

My name is Maria Rubens. I tend to call myself Marie. I used to leave near St. Michael's Abbey along the Scheldt, and I will be buried in the abbey church. I often think of this, because winter is approaching and my asthma is getting worse. I can feel myself weakening.

Portret van Filips Rubens

Filips Rubens

Portrait of Rubens's brother, spring of 1611.

My brother is a master of imagery, I excel with words. Sometimes I forget this, when working in our town hall. I am one of the city's four municipal secretaries. The city likes its secretaries to be excellent painters and poets, in the purest Latin.

Isabella Brant

A portrait of Rubens's first wife, 1625

Isabella Brant, Peter Paul Rubens's first wife. They married on 13 October 1609 in St. Michael's Abbey and had three children: Clara, Albert and Nicolaas.

Clara Serena Rubens

Clara Serena, the sweet and lively eldest daughter of Peter Paul Rubens and Isabella Brant. She had a delightful childhood. In 1623, she suddenly fell ill.

Albert en Nicolaas

Albert Rubens

Portrait of Rubens's son, January 1627

I'm thirteen years old and I'm writing a poem. I don't know how to draw. Papa tried to teach me but I prefer to read. Books make the best companions. I don't feel shy around them, but people often make me feel shy.

Nicolaas Rubens

Portrait of Rubens's son, September 1655

He liked to draw me. I was the child he needed to model for the chubby cherubs in his paintings. You can still see me in a large painting for the queen mother in a palace in Paris. I'm in it for posterity, riding on a lion's back. Papa told me so.

Helena Fourment

Helena Fourment

Portrait of Rubens's second wife, summer of 1637

My sisters have married dignified gentlemen. But I, the youngest of them all, have been married to the most famous man in Antwerp for over six years. Why he chose me, you ask? He told me once. Because he had already painted me even before I was born. I am the blonde saint in the painting above his mother's grave. The nymph he immortalised in Italy.

Constantia Rubens

Portrait of Rubens's youngest daughter, autumn 1683

I never knew my father. I was born eight months after he died. My step-brother held me during the Christening and the wife of my stepbrother Nicolaas was my godmother. I was named after them. Constantia Albertina.