Rubens: a master in the making
Venice and Mantua
It was the goal of all young Northern European artists to go to Italy and see the great Renaissance and classical works that they knew from prints.
In 1600 the 22-year-old Rubens arrived in Venice. He had no commissions and no patron. He did, however, have contacts.
Rubens was introduced to the Duke of Mantua who just happened to be looking for court painters and he offered the young artist a salary and a position.
'The Fall of Phaeton' and 'Hero and Leander', from around 1605, show Rubens imitating Tintoretto's dramatic lighting effects.
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