Edited by Anne Woollett
With contributions by Anne Woollett, Ariane van Suchtelen, Tiarna Doherty, Mark Leonard, and Jørgen Wadum
Truly collaborative paintings, that is, not simply mechanical but also conceptual coproductions, are rare in the history of art. This gorgeously illustrated catalogue explores just such an extraordinary partnership between Antwerp's most eminent painters of the early seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625). Rubens and Brueghel executed approximately twenty-five works together between around 1598 and Brueghel's death in 1625. Highly prized and sought after by collectors throughout Europe, the collaborative works of Rubens and Brueghel were shaped by their close friendship and distinguished by an extremely high level of quality, further enhanced by the status of the artists themselves.
Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Getty Museum that was held from July 5 to September 24, 2006, the catalogue features twenty-six color plates of such Rubens/Brueghel paintings as The Return from War, The Feast of Acheloüs, Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, Allegory of Sight, Battle of the Amazons, Nature Adored by the Graces, and Madonna and Child in a Garland of Flowers, along with Rubens and Brueghel's collaborations with important contemporaries such as Frans Snyders and Hendrick van Balen. An essay by Anne Woollett explores the social and artistic milieu of Antwerp during this period and discusses Rubens and Brueghel's personal and working relationship, its origins, and their service to the Archdukes Albert and Isabella. Another essay, by Tiarna Doherty, Mark Leonard, and Jørgen Wadum, discusses the artists' working methods and offers new insights into their collaborative processes acquired through technical analysis. This is the first such publication to fully address and reproduce these works in depth.
Anne Woollett is associate curator of paintings at the Getty Museum.