Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard XXVI (2), 1

Copies and Adaptations from Renaissance and Later Artist: Italian Artists

Rubens after Raphael.

Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard XXVI (2), 1 
Copies and Adaptations from Renaissance and Later Artist: Italian Artists

I. Raphael and his school 
Jeremy Wood 
Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2010. 
ISBN: 978-1-905375-39-4 
2 vol., 450 p., ill. 


Rubens after Rafaël 

Part XXVI of the Corpus Rubenianum deals with Rubens’s remarkable studies of art from the previous centuries: he made countless copies after and adaptations of Italian sources. The material is so extensive that this subject is divided into three separate sections: (I) Raphael and his school, (II) Titian and the North Italian masters, and (III) artists who worked both in central Italy and in France. Each section is in turn divided into two or three volumes.

This part of the Corpus Rubenianum focuses primarily on Renaissance art of the 16th century. Rubens studied this art throughout his life, not only in the 1590s, when he received his training in Antwerp and relied mainly on prints as models for large paintings after Raphael and Michelangelo. He produced most of his painted copies in the late 1620s, when he spent time in Madrid and London and wanted to possess images of Italian works, especially those by Titian, which he could not acquire for his own collection.

However, most of the catalogue entries describe Italian drawings that Rubens purchased on his travels that he kept and adapted throughout his life. This material reveals his profound knowledge of, and keen interest in, the work of artists including Raphael, Giulio Romano, and Polidoro da Caravaggio. Artists he favored from the more recent past included Zuccari and De Carracci.

The first section of this series contains approximately 300 entries. The notes on the adapted drawings make it possible to reconstruct one of the earliest and largest collections of drawings by late Renaissance artists. They illustrate Rubens’s subtle and complex dialogue with Italian art.