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Peter Raul Rubens

The artistic world of Peter Paul Rubens

Reading time: 3 min

Peter Paul Rubens was a star of his times and remains so to this day. For the exhibition “Rubens. The Power of Transformation” in Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Vienna’s leading fine art museum), three of his works are on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Explore the artistic world of Peter Paul Rubens.

When artworks go on the road there’s quite a lot of effort involved. Extensive precautions have to be taken – particularly when it comes to priceless paintings by Peter Paul Rubens. Red tape needs to be dealt with, insurance taken out and customs offices cleared. The works had to cross 1,584 km before they could be displayed in the gallery of Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. And they happened to be transported by OMV and Gazprom.

Tosca Purr OMV Sponsoring Manager
Climate-controlled boxes, white-gloved experts, goods worth millions. These were all in evidence when the three works of Baroque star Peter Paul Rubens were unpacked and hanged in the Kunsthistorisches Museum after a long journey from St. Petersburg to Vienna, thanks to OMV and Gazprom.
Tosca Purr, OMV Sponsoring Manager

Peter Paul Rubens – a versatile artist


When it comes to Peter Paul Rubens, it is no exaggeration to say that he is a universal genius. His oeuvre is incredible diverse, whether it’s landscapes, historical images, mythology or religious depictions, the Flemish painter has it all in his artistic repertoire. Did you know that the artist was one of the most prolific painters of his time?

His works served as inspiration for artists such as Klimt, Picasso and Cézanne and it is not for nothing that he is considered one of the most influential artists of the Baroque tradition to this very day. If you spend a while gazing at his paintings you will discover an array of exciting connections and illuminating details. And this is precisely what makes his work so unique.

“Ecce Homo” – magnificent array of colors

One of the works that was specially delivered to the exhibition from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is the famous painting “Ecce Homo”. “Christ with the Crown of Thorns, which can also be seen on the exhibition posters, draws in the viewer and immediately takes us right into another place and time” so Tosca Purr. The artist uses a magnificent array of colors in this portrait-style composition. He plays with theatrical light and shade effects, casting a bright light on the naked torso of Jesus. One interesting aspect that is not very well-known: Rubens always used other artists and sources as models for his paintings. The inspiration for the depiction of Christ in “Ecce Homo” was an ancient centaur, a mythological creature half-man, half-horse.

But let’s not give the game away too soon. Delve into the artistic world of Rubens in the following video:

Experience Rubens yourself

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is showing the grand exhibit “Peter Paul Rubens. The Power of Transformation” from October 17 to January 21, 2018. A collection of 120 works highlight the creative process of one of the most important Flemish baroque painters.

OMV Cultural Sponsoring

With its arts sponsoring, OMV supports world-class Austrian cultural institutions and promotes the cultural exchange between Austria and OMV’s core regions such as Russia, for example. OMV has been collaborating closely in the cultural sphere with Gazprom since 2016. OMV is a general sponsor of the Vienna State Opera and is supporting the cycle “Fridays@7” in the Wiener Konzerthaus as well as exhibitions in the Leopold Museum and the Austrian National Library.

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