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The old part of the Rubens House.In a side-street (named 'Wapper') of the Meir avenue stands the former house of Peter Paul Rubens, the greatest and most famous of all the Antwerp painters. Rubens bought an existing 16th century house here, after he had returned from his stay in Italy (1600-1608). He lived in the house from 1616 onwards and died here in 1640.

Rubens had it embellished and turned it into one of the most elegant Renaissance-Baroque Houses of the Low Countries, with a beautiful restyled garden and an impressive entrance. It was here that most of his splendid Baroque paintings were created. Diplomats, artists, art lovers and collectors, scientists and even the Spanish Archdukes Albert and Isabella visited him here. It was also here that his first wife Isabella Brant and his daughter died.

After his death the house was sold to others who, through the course of time, changed it considerably. In 1937 the severely damaged house was bought by the City of Antwerp (thanks to Mayor Camille Huysmans). Two old The new part of the Rubens House.sketches from the 1680's (the oldest known images of the house)  were used as basis for the restoration.

It now houses the 'Rubens House -Museum'. Nowadays visitors to the house should be aware that they don't visit a house as it was left behind by its most famous inhabitant, but rather a reconstruction of what it must have looked like in the first half of the 17th century. The collection of paintings by Rubens himself and by some of his contemporaries alone already make it worth to pay the entrance fee. During a visit one can stroll through the reconstructed garden, visit the work shop of Rubens and his private quarters.

RUBENSHOUSE :
Wapper 9 - 11, 2000 Antwerpen.
info.rubenshuis@cs.antwerpen.be

Open every day (except Mondays), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on certain public holidays.


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