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216 × 138 mm
256 pages
88 illustrations, 71 in colour
15 Mar 2021
Renaissance Lives
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Rubens’s Spirit From Ingenuity to Genius Alexander Marr

Peter Paul Rubens was the most inventive and prolific northern European artist of his age. This book discusses his life and work in relation to three interrelated themes: spirit, ingenuity and genius. It argues that Rubens and his reception were pivotal in the transformation of early modern ingenuity into Romantic genius. Ranging across the artist’s entire career, it explores Rubens’s engagement with these themes in his art and biography. The book looks at Rubens’s forays into altarpiece painting in Italy as well as his collaborations with fellow artists in his hometown of Antwerp, and his complex relationship with the spirit of pleasure. It concludes with his late landscapes in connection to genius loci, the spirit of the place.

Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge. His most recent book is the co-authored Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe (2019).