Photograph of the porchway before the restoration work © Beeldarchief Collectie Antwerp
The house becomes a museum
From the second half of the eighteenth century, the Rubens House was subjected to various renovations and was somewhat forgotten.
In the course of the 19th century, the idea once again re-emerged of turning the house into a monument. When the city of Antwerp was able to acquire the house in 1937, a thorough restoration was necessary. In 1946, Rubens’s former residence was opened as a museum. The porch and the garden pavilion are now the only authentic remains of the seventeenth-century complex.
In 1610, two years after his return from Italy, Rubens and his wife Isabella Brant bought a house with land on the Wapper.
After Rubens’s death in 1640, his second wife, Helena Fourment, continued to live in the Wapper for several years.
As an adjunct to the Van Dyck year in 1999, the architect Stéphane Beel designed a functional pavilion in front of the artist’s house.
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