Peter Paul Rubens is born in Siegen, Westphalia, to Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelincks on June 28.
The Dutch Republic (or the States General) declare independence from Spanish rule after a series of wars. The southern part of the country remains under Hapsburg rule.
Rubens completes his painting titled Portrait of a Man.
Rubens is accepted as a master in the Guild of St. Luke.
Rubens completes his work Adam and Eve
Rubens travels to Italy. He stops first in Venice, where he sees paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of duke Vincenzo I of Gonzaga.
Rubens travels to Rome by way of Florence, where he studies classical Greek and Roman art and copies the works of the Italian masters.
Rubens travels to Spain on a diplomatic mission, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay. This journey marks the first of many during his career that would combine art and diplomacy.
Rubens returns to Italy where he remained for the next four years-first in Mantua, and then in Genoa and Rome.
Rubens paints several works during this year, including Equestrian Portrait of Giancarlo Doria, St. Gregory the Great with Saints, and The Trinity Adored by the Duke of Mantua and His Family.
Maria Rubens, his mother, dies. Although Rubens was well-travelled throughout his career with patrons across Europe, he returned to Antwerp and settled in his Old-Flemish house that had an annexed painting studio. This painting studio was where he established a flourishing business and where he and his workshop painted some of Rubens’ most famous commissions.
Rubens paints Virgin and Child Adored by the Angels, Adoration of the Shepherds, Landscape with the Ruins of Mount Palatine in Rome, and other works.
Rubens marries Isabella Brant, the daughter of a leading Antwerp citizen and humanist Jan Brant. He completes Rubens and Isabella Brant in the Honeysuckle Bower.
Rubens purchases a building in Antwerp to use as a home and studio. Rubens commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the church of St. Walburga (The Raising of the Cross). He completes The Raising of the Cross.
He paints Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
Rubens completes The Descent from the Cross.
He finishes The Feast of Acheloüs; Portrait of the Archduke Albert; and Portrait of the Infanta Isabella.
Rubens paints Judith with the Head of Holofernes, Christ Resurrected, The Stigmatization of St. Francis, and additional works.
Rubens completes The Great Last Judgment.
He completes the painting, The Union of Earth and Water.
While under the study of Rubens, Anthony van Dyck is discovered by Thomas Howard, a British nobleman. Rubens completes The Fall of the Damned
Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, commissions Rubens to paint twenty-one pieces for decoration of her Palace in Luxemburg.
Rubens paints Self-portrait
Rubens is knighted by Philip IV of Spain.
Rubens finishes the commission from Marie de' Medici.
Isabella Rubens dies.
Rubens’s diplomatic career is particularly active, and he moves between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces.
He completes of Portrait of a Woman, Probably Susanna Lunden
Rubens is in Madrid for eight month. In addition to diplomatic negotiations, he executed several important works for Philip IV and private patrons. During this time, he also befriended the court painter Diego Velazquez, and the two planned a trip to Italy together for the following year. Rubens returned to Antwerp, and Velazquez made the journey alone, however.
Lives in London after Antwerp. While in London, he completes the work Allegory of Peace and War, and presents it to Charles I.
Rubens marries Hélène Fourment; completes the works The Holy Family with Saints Francis and Anne and the Infant Saint John the Baptist.
Rubens is knighted by Charles I of England.
He buys an estate outside of Antwerp, the Chateau de Steen, where he spends much of his time. Rubens completes of The Forest at Dawn with a Deer Hunt and Venus and Adonis
Rubens completes The Massacre of the Innocents.
Rubens completes The Horrors of War.
Rubens dies from gout at his home in Antwerp at the age of sixty-two.
View of the Garden of the Rubenshuis, Antwerp, 1699 – 1732, Jacobus Harrewijn, Image Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rubens’ workshop was converted into a museum, now known as the Rubenshuis. The current restoration of Rubens’ studio approximates an impressive size to the workshop, with large arched windows, but the original interior and decor is now lost and unknown.