Flemish Baroque painter, Peter Paul Rubens, was born on the 28th of June 1577 in Siegen, modern day Germany. When he was 10 years old his father died and two years later he and his mother moved to Antwerp. At the age of 14 Rubens was apprenticed to the artist Tobias Verhaecht, and he later studied under the painters Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen.
His education complete, Rubens went to Italy where he was influenced by the works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio.
In addition to being an artist, Rubens was employed as a diplomat and his work took him to Spain in 1603 where he saw paintings by Raphael and Titian in the King's collection, before he returned to Italy.
Rubens concentrated on his artistic career between 1609 - 1621 after he had returned to Antwerp. Then in 1621, he was commissioned by the Queen of France to paint a series of paintings celebrating her life. He was also given more diplomatic missions which enabled him to paint leading figures who he encountered on his travels. He was knighted twice; once by Philip II of Spain, and again by Charles I of England.
The last ten years of Rubens' life were spent in and around Antwerp. His first wife had died in 1626, and four years later he married his niece. In 1635 he purchased an estate where he amused himself by painting landscapes which were not commissioned works.
Rubens died on the 30th of May 1640 at the age of 62.
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