Kunstkamer (art room) (7)
Like other wealthy Antwerp citizens, Rubens was a passionate collector. His art collection was the biggest in 17th-century Antwerp.
The large part of his collection consisted of classical sculpture and Italian and Low Countries painting. For example, he owned a collection of antique sculptures as well as major works by Titian and Van Dyck. Most of Rubens’ collection was also exhibited in his time in this impressive art gallery.
In seventeenth-century Antwerp, some prosperous citizens had accumulated large collections of art. Rubens’s collection was the largest in the city in his time.
This sketch is a modello in grisaille for one of the 39 ceiling paintings Rubens made for the Jesuit Church.
With no fewer than 17 works, genre painter Adriaen Brouwer was especially well represented in Rubens’ collection.
Rubens was an enthusiastic collector of antique sculpture. He was, however, less interested in the work of his contemporaries.
The smaller items in a collection of art or curiosities, such as old coins, fossils, gemstones or mounted insects, were kept in specially designed cabinets.