Peter Paul Rubens, Self-portrait © Beeldarchief Collectie Antwerpen
In the dining-room, you come face to face with the master himself.
In comparison with his North-Netherlands contemporary, Rembrandt, Rubens painted remarkably few self-portraits. Rembrandt painted around forty; Rubens just four. Another difference with Rembrandt is that Rubens always presented himself in his self-portraits as a confident and distinguished gentleman, never as a painter.
The other three self-portraits were painted by Rubens as commissions or were intended as gifts. The painting in the Rubens House was probably intended for use in the studio, as a model which his assistants could copy. This painting is traditionally dated around 1630. Rubens was then fifty-three.