Paul Rubens (1577-1640) spent eight years in
Italy (1600-1608), working at the ducal court
of the Gonzaga family in Mantua and improving
his baroque mastership. It was principally Rubens
who introduced this new evolution in arts -
the Baroque - into the southern Netherlands.
Here he worked for its Kings (the Spanish Habsburgs),
for its regents, for ROCKOX , the Antwerp mayor,
for many guilds and corporations, for rich merchants,
for abbeys and convents, for churches (altarpieces),
etc. Also he painted for his own family and
for his own collection: portraits of his wife
and children, landscapes.