Event Title

Love and War: Rubens and the Fusion of Venus, a Figure of Love, into a Personification of Peace

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

6-4-2010 8:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2010 10:00 AM

Student's Major

Art

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Curt Germundson

Mentor's Department

Art

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

For centuries artists have been making political statements through their art. Baroque painter and unofficial Belgian Ambassador Peter Paul Rubens utilized mythology and allegories in his paintings as a means of conveying his thoughts and strong feelings in regards to the underlying cruelty and violence of war along with the eminence of peace. By tracking Rubens’ use of the goddess Venus from a figure of love into the personification of peace, this paper will show how Rubens worked politics into his paintings and gave the Venus figure a significance that she does not typically have in art. Although the times have changed since 1640, the year Rubens died, his themes still remain prevalent in today’s society. These themes include the importance of peace and how it brings prosperity and general happiness to all who exercise it, and the disorder associated with war; the destroyer of innocence, harmony and concord. Through the use of Venus he makes his most prevalent statement—without love, one cannot attain peace. By reviewing letters Rubens wrote, scholarly books and articles, evaluating his art first hand and also attending a Rubens conference in Antwerp, my paper opens up a new discussion on how Rubens presents Venus, going beyond the usual focus on his robust and fleshy figures, leading to a deeper investigation of his messages and presenting a fresh way of viewing the political role of allegories.

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Apr 6th, 8:00 AM Apr 6th, 10:00 AM

Love and War: Rubens and the Fusion of Venus, a Figure of Love, into a Personification of Peace

CSU 201

For centuries artists have been making political statements through their art. Baroque painter and unofficial Belgian Ambassador Peter Paul Rubens utilized mythology and allegories in his paintings as a means of conveying his thoughts and strong feelings in regards to the underlying cruelty and violence of war along with the eminence of peace. By tracking Rubens’ use of the goddess Venus from a figure of love into the personification of peace, this paper will show how Rubens worked politics into his paintings and gave the Venus figure a significance that she does not typically have in art. Although the times have changed since 1640, the year Rubens died, his themes still remain prevalent in today’s society. These themes include the importance of peace and how it brings prosperity and general happiness to all who exercise it, and the disorder associated with war; the destroyer of innocence, harmony and concord. Through the use of Venus he makes his most prevalent statement—without love, one cannot attain peace. By reviewing letters Rubens wrote, scholarly books and articles, evaluating his art first hand and also attending a Rubens conference in Antwerp, my paper opens up a new discussion on how Rubens presents Venus, going beyond the usual focus on his robust and fleshy figures, leading to a deeper investigation of his messages and presenting a fresh way of viewing the political role of allegories.

Recommended Citation

Steck, Margo. "Love and War: Rubens and the Fusion of Venus, a Figure of Love, into a Personification of Peace." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 6, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/oral-session-08/1