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Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640)

Summer: Peasants Going to Market c.1618

Oil on canvas | 143.4 x 222.9 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 401416

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This is the closest Rubens comes to a ‘World Landscape’, a type of landscape developed by Pieter Breughel the Elder (c.1525–69) which conveyed the extraordinary range of the earth’s surface in one scene. Rubens adopts a bird-like viewpoint, maintaining its height into the far distance, and providing a comprehensive account of every terrain and every species of agricultural activity. He describes humankind’s relationship to nature and God’s blessing – suggested by the church spires in the background and the light breaking through the clouds.

Acquired as a pair with Winter, by Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1747