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Peter Paul Rubens
Le Chapeau de Paille (The Straw Hat)
c.1626 Oil on panel. National Gallery, London, UK.
Portrait of Susanne Fourment.
Susanna Fourment was related by marriage to Rubens' first wife, Isabella Brant. Later the widowed Rubens married Susanna's sister Helena Fourment.
Rubens is often called Prince of Baroque painters. In his style he successfully united the features of Northern and Flemish art with those of Italy. His influence on the painters of his century was enormous, as it was on sculpture and architecture. He was a versatile genius and rivaled in inventive power the great minds of the Italian Renaissance. He was a humanist and classical archaeologist, a sumptuous designer of religious, historical and allegorical canvases and a supreme master in "pure" landscape. Rubens was endlessly active. There are thousands of works by his hand, scattered through collections and museums across the world. The paintings amount to more than three thousand. He also gave the world the great number of pupils, the celebrated artists van Dyck, Jordaens, Snyders and Cornelis de Vos are among them.