Paul Claudel was a French poet and diplomat, the younger brother of the sculptress Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his verse dramas, which convey his devout Catholicism. Claudel was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in six different years, he was born into a family of farmers and government officials. His father, Louis-Prosper, dealt in mortgages and bank transactions, his mother, the former Louise Cerveaux, came from a Champagne family of Catholic farmers and priests. Having spent his first years in Champagne, he studied at the lycée of Bar-le-Duc and at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in 1881, when his parents moved to Paris. An unbeliever in his teenage years, he experienced a sudden conversion at the age of eighteen on Christmas Day 1886 while listening to a choir sing Vespers in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris: "In an instant, my heart was touched, I believed." He would remain an active Catholic for the rest of his life. He studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.
The young Claudel considered entering a Benedictine monastery, but in the end began a career in the French diplomatic corps, in which he would serve from 1893 to 1936. He was first vice-consul in New York, in Boston, he was French consul in China, including consul in Shanghai, vice-consul in Fuzhou, consul in Tianjin, in Prague, Frankfurt am Main, Rome, ministre plénipotentiaire in Rio de Janeiro, ambassador in Tokyo, Washington, D. C. and Brussels. While he served in Brazil during the First World War he supervised the continued provision of food supplies from South America to France. In 1936 he retired to his château in Brangues. After a long affair with Rosalie Vetch, a married woman with four children and pregnant with Claudel's child, ended in February 1905, Claudel married Reine Sainte-Marie-Perrin on 15 March 1906. In his youth Claudel was influenced by the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud and the Symbolists. Like them, he was horrified by modern materialist views of life. Unlike most of them, his response was to embrace Catholicism.
All his writings are passionate rejections of the idea of a mechanical or random universe, instead proclaiming the deep spiritual meaning of human life founded on God's all-governing grace and love. Claudel wrote in a unique verse style, he rejected traditional metrics in favour of long, unrhymed lines of free verse, the so-called verset claudelien, influenced by the Latin psalms of the Vulgate. His language and imagery was lush, exhilarating, consciously'poetical', he used scenes of passionate, obsessive human love to convey with great power God's infinite love for humanity. His plays were extraordinarily long, sometimes stretching to eleven hours, pressed the realities of material staging to their limits, yet they were physically staged, at least in part, to rapturous acclaim, are not closet dramas. The most famous of his plays are Le Partage de Midi, L'Annonce faite à Marie focusing on the themes of sacrifice and sanctification through the tale of a young medieval French peasant woman who contracts leprosy, Le Soulier de Satin, his deepest exploration of human and divine love and longing set in the Spanish empire of the siglo de oro, staged at the Comédie-Française in 1943.
In years he wrote texts to be set to music, most notably Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher, an "opera-oratorio" with music by Arthur Honegger. As well as his verse dramas, Claudel wrote much lyric poetry, for example the Cinq Grandes Odes. Claudel was always a controversial figure during his lifetime, remains so today, his devout Catholicism and his right-wing political views, both unusual stances among his intellectual peers, made him, continue to make him, unpopular in many circles. His address of a poem to Marshal Philippe Pétain after the defeat of France in 1940, commending Petain for picking up and salvaging France's broken, wounded body, has been unflatteringly remembered, though it is less a paean to Petain than a patriotic lament over the condition of France; as a Catholic, he could not avoid a certain sense of bitter satisfaction at the fall of the anti-clerical French Third Republic. However, accusations that he was a collaborationist based on the 1941 poem ignore the fact that support for Marshal Petain and the surrender was, in the catastrophic atmosphere of defeat, emotional collapse and exhaustion in 1941, widespread throughout the French populace.
Claudel's diaries make clear his consistent contempt for Nazism, his attitude to the Vichy regime hardened in
Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. In the Americas, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city south of the United States; the local government bodies of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew were amalgamated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act of 1923, to form the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation. Greater Kingston, or the "Corporate Area" refers to those areas under the KSAC. Kingston Parish had a population of 96,052, St. Andrew Parish had a population of 555,828 in 2001. Kingston is only bordered by Saint Andrew to the east and north; the geographical border for the parish of Kingston encompasses the following communities, Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Rae Town, Kingston Gardens, National Heroes Park, Bournemouth Gardens, Norman Gardens, Rennock Lodge and Port Royal, along with portions of Rollington Town, Franklyn Town and Allman Town.
The city proper is bounded by Six Miles to the west, Stony Hill to the north, Papine to the northeast and Harbour View to the east, communities in urban and suburban Saint Andrew. Communities in rural St. Andrew such as Gordon Town, Mavis Bank, Lawrence Tavern, Mt. Airy and Bull Bay would not be described as being in Kingston city. Two parts make up the central area of Kingston: the historic Downtown, New Kingston. Both are served by Norman Manley International Airport and by the smaller and domestic Tinson Pen Aerodrome. Kingston was founded in July 1692 as a place for survivors of the 1692 earthquake that destroyed Port Royal. Before the earthquake, Kingston's functions were purely agricultural; the earthquake survivors set up a camp on the sea front. Two thousand people died due to mosquito-borne diseases; the people lived in a tented camp on Colonel Barry's Hog Crawle. The town did not begin to grow until after the further destruction of Port Royal by fire in 1703. Surveyor John Goffe drew up a plan for the town based on a grid bounded by North, East and Harbour Streets.
The new grid system of the town was designed to facilitate commerce the system of main thoroughfares 66 feet across which allowed transportation between the port and plantations farther inland. By 1716 it had become the centre of trade for Jamaica; the government sold land to people with the regulation that they purchase no more than the amount of the land that they owned in Port Royal, only land on the sea front. Wealthy merchants began to move their residences from above their businesses to the farm lands north on the plains of Liguanea; the first free school, Wolmers's, was founded in 1729 and there was a theatre, first on Harbour Street and moved in 1774 to North Parade. Both are still in existence. In 1755 the governor, Sir Charles Knowles, had decided to transfer the government offices from Spanish Town to Kingston, it was thought by some to be an unsuitable location for the Assembly in proximity to the moral distractions of Kingston, the next governor rescinded the Act. However, by 1780 the population of Kingston was 11,000, the merchants began lobbying for the administrative capital to be transferred from Spanish Town, by eclipsed by the commercial activity in Kingston.
By the end of the 18th century, the city contained more than 3,000 brick buildings. The harbour fostered trade, played part in several naval wars of the 18th century. Kingston took over the functions of Spanish Town; these functions included agriculture, processing and a main transport hub to and from Kingston and other sections of the island. The government passed an act to transfer the government offices to Kingston from Spanish Town, which occurred in 1872, it kept this status when the island was granted independence in 1962. In 1907, 800 people died in another earthquake known as the 1907 Kingston earthquake, destroying nearly all the historical buildings south of Parade in the city; that was. These three-story-high buildings were built with reinforced concrete. Construction on King Street in the city was the first area to breach this building code. During the 1930s, island-wide riots led to the development of trade unions and political parties to represent workers; the city became home to the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies founded in 1948, with 24 medical students.
Not until the 1960s did major change occur in the development of Kingston's city centre. The international attention of reggae music at that time coincided with the expansion and development of 95 acres of the Kingston city centre waterfront area; these developments led to an influx of shops and offices, the development of a new financial centre: New Kingston, which replaced the Knutsford Racetrack. Multi-story buildings and boulevards were placed within that section. In 1966 Kingston was the host city to the Commonwealth Games; the western section of the city was not the focus of development, that area proved to be politically tense. The 1970s saw deteriorating economic conditions that led to recurrent violence and a decline in tourism which affected the island. In the 1980 general elections, the democratic socialist People's National Party government was voted out, subsequent governments have been more market-oriented. Within a global urban era, the 1990s saw that Kingston has made efforts to modernise and devel
Wendy Ann Taylor is an English artist and sculptor, specialising in permanent, site-specific commissions. Wendy Taylor studied from 1963 to 1967 at the Saint Martin's School of Art in London, she gained renown for her many sculptures in the public realm in London. Taylor's abstract sculptures explore themes of equilibrium and fabrication. From 1986 to 1988, she was design consultant for the Commission for New Towns. In 1988, Taylor was the subject of a documentary on The South Bank Show, and, in 1992, her work was profiled in a monograph by Edward Lucie-Smith. In 1988, Taylor was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1999, she restored the Virginia Quay Settlers Monument at Blackwall, adding an astrolabe. In 2005, a major exhibition of her work was held at the Cass Sculpture Foundation in Goodwood titled The Seed Series. In 2009, this exhibition travelled to Canary Wharf in London. Three of her works are Grade II listed structures: the Virginia Quay Settlers Monument, Timepiece in St Katharine Docks and the Octo sculpture and reflecting pool, in Milton Keynes.
Taylor works in London. 1971: Triad, Somerville College, Oxford 1979/80: Octo, Norfolk House, Milton Keynes 1982: Essence, Saxon Court, Milton Keynes 1983: Gazebo, Golders Hill Park, London Barnet 1986: Pharos, East Kilbride South Lanarkshire 1987: Docklands Enterprise, West Dock/Marsh Lane 1987: Globe Sundial Sculpture, Marine Walk, Swansea 1994: Jester, Emmanuel College and the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, Purchase, USA 1997: Rope Circle, Hermitage Basin, London 1997: Spirit of Barrow 1999: Dung Beetles, Millennium Conservation Centre, Regent's Park, London 1999: Virginia Quay Settlers Monument, Jamestown Way, London 2000: Tortoises with Triangle and Time, Holland Park, London 2000: The Millennium Fountain, River Walk, Enfield 2001: Voyager, Wapping High Street 2003: Knowledge, Library Square, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London 2006: Sycamore, sculpture garden at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood Wendy Taylor's webpage The artist's page at the Royal Society of British Sculptors The artist's page at Cass Sculpture Foundation
Reginald John Clemo was a Cornish poet and writer, associated both with his native Cornwall and his strong Christian belief. His work was inspired by the rugged Cornish landscape, he was the son of a clay-kiln worker and his mother, Eveline Clemo, was a dogmatic nonconformist. Clemo was born in the parish of St Stephen-in-Brannel near St Austell, his father was killed at sea towards the end of the First World War and he was raised by his mother who exerted a dominant influence on him. He was educated at the village school but after age of 13 his formal schooling ceased with the onset on his blindness, he became deaf around age 20, blind in 1955, about 19 years later. The china clay mines and works around which he grew up were to feature in his work. Clemo's early work was published in the local press but his literary breakthrough came with the novel Wilding Graft, published by Chatto and Windus in 1948 winning an Atlantic Award; this was followed in 1949 by his autobiography, Confessions of a Rebel, which established Clemo as a remarkable and original writer.
Clemo developed further as a writer and in 1951 he published his first collection, The Clay Verge. Set in a stark landscape, the poems explore the forces of nature and the workings of a hard-won grace, he received national recognition for the first time in the same year during the Festival of Britain where he was awarded a literary prize. In 1970 he conferred with the title Poet of the Clay. In 1981, at the age of 65, he received an honorary literary doctorate from the University of Exeter. Clemo was religious and believed it was God's will for him to marry; however it was not until he reached his early 50s when he met and subsequently married Ruth Peaty in 1968, who came from Weymouth. Following his marriage in 1968 he was able to discover a lighter side to poetry, his love for Ruth, both expressed through his poetry and his mischievous wit, are encapsulated in the little romantic cards he composed each year for her. By the age of 65 he had achieved sufficient recognition for a dramatised version of his biography, directed by Norman Stone, to be produced and screened by the BBC in 1980.
A few years a book about the role of providence in the marriage of Jack Clemo was written by Sally Magnusson. He was photographed by Tricia Porter in 1975, the images are held at the National Portrait Gallery in London; the first major academic conference on Clemo, "Kindling the Scarp", was held at Wheal Martyn, Cornwall, on 31 May and 1 June 2013, organised by scholars at the University of Warwick and the University of Exeter. This coincided with the closure of Trethosa Chapel on Sunday 2 June and the relocation of their Clemo Memorial Room artefacts to Wheal Martyn Museum and Park in St Austell. An unexpected change to his writing subsequently occurred after two trips to Italy late in his life. In 1987 he first visited Venice and six years he travelled to Florence; this seemed to prompt a blaze of much more colourful verse, integrating the personal drama of his own life with the sweep of Italian faith, culture and history. In "Heretic in Florence" he recounted the stench of the dry river Arno and its cure, portraying it as a metaphor for his own release from barren art.
Clemo died, aged 78, in Weymouth on 25 July 1994. His personal and literary papers, including diaries and manuscripts of prose and poetry works, are held by the University of Exeter. An annual Jack Clemo Poetry Competition was established in 1995 by the Arts Centre Group having received a legacy from Jack Clemo's estate; the first winner was Ulster English teacher and poet Ray Givans and the prize was £30 and a sculpture by ACG member Iain Cotton in Cornish stone with a Celtic design. The winning poem was entitled Work Ethic. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Jack Clemo, led by writer and editor Luke Thompson; this has led to the publication of a new Selected Poems, a complete collection of dialect tales A Proper Mizz-Maze, a pamphlet short story The Clay Dump, an album of Clemo's poetry, Clay Hymnal, set to music by folk musician Jim Causley, the first full biography of Jack Clemo, written by Luke Thompson and entitled Clay Phoenix. The former Cornish home of Jack Clemo was demolished by the Goonvean China Clay Company on 6 September 2005 to make way for new laboratories.
This provoked much anger both locally and from fans of the poet, who had lived most of his life at the cottage, except for his last 10 years after having moved to Weymouth in 1984. Dr Philip Payton, director of the Institute of Cornish Studies in Truro, said he would like to see the cottage as a museum. "You cannot think about Jack Clemo without thinking about the china clay country. And you cannot think about the china clay country in any serious sense without pondering about Jack Clemo. To obliterate the cottage would be to erase from the landscape of Cornwall, he is hugely important in a Cornish context and as an international poet. He is one of the greats. There is something about Jack Clemo's cottage, it is so humble and in such a bleak place and it speaks volumes about his disabilities and achievements." Alan Sanders, secretary of the Jack Clemo Memorial Room at Trethosa Chapel, said: "On a personal and literary level this cottage was important. I have known this cottage all my life so I am saddened.
A lot of people are still keen on Jack's work and will be disappointed." Mr Sanders said the company had igno
New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art is the oldest fine arts museum in the city of New Orleans. It is situated within City Park, a short distance from the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Esplanade Avenue, near the terminus of the "Canal Street - City Park" streetcar line, it was established in 1911 as the Delgado Museum of Art. The New Orleans Museum of Art was funded through a charitable grant by local philanthropist and art collector Isaac Delgado; the museum building itself was designed by the former chief engineer of New Orleans Benjamin Morgan Harrod. At the age of 71 Isaac Delgado, a wealthy sugar broker, wrote to the City Park Board about his intention to build an art museum in New Orleans. "I have been led to believe that you would willingly donate in the park the site for a building I propose erecting to be known as the'Isaac Delgado Museum of Art'. My desire is to give to the citizens of New Orleans a fire proof building where works of art may be collected through gifts or loans and where exhibits can be held from time to time by the Art Association of New Orleans".
The board approved his request and designated the circle, at the end of what would become Lelong Avenue, for the museum. On December 11, 1911, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art opened its doors. Issac Delgado did not attend the opening due to medical issues; this legacy lives on into the future. In 1970/1971, the Edward Wisner Foundation funded the Wisner Education Wing, a three level addition to NOMA's left side. 1993 brought the opening of the $23 million expansion and renovation project to NOMA. The scale of the expansion and renovation, combined with amplified art acquisitions, positioned NOMA into the top 25 percent of the nation's largest and most important fine art museums. Today, the art museum is rated among the best art institutions in the country, having presented many unique and rare exhibits; the museum includes the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a 5-acre landscaped area behind the main building. The gated garden features fifty modern sculptures set among live oaks, magnolias, lagoons, several bridges, a walking trail.
The museum includes a gift shop, a small theater for film screenings, the "Courtyard Cafe: A Ralph Brennan Restaurant." Although City Park suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina, the museum is elevated and located on high ground. As such, flooding was restricted to the basement, most of the museum's permanent collection was not affected by the storm; the permanent collection at the museum features over 40,000 objects, from the Italian Renaissance to the modern era. NOMA's furniture collection includes important examples of 18th and 19th century American furniture and a small group of exquisite 18th century French pieces. Highlights include The Rosemonde E. and Emile Kuntz Rooms, exhibiting choice examples of America's fine and decorative arts heritage in New Orleans. The rooms were first conceived by Felix H. Kuntz, the Dean of Americana fine & decorative arts and ephemera, his brother Emile N. Kuntz was charged with constructing and furnishing the rooms as a memorial to their parents.
The rooms were completed by Mr. Emile Kuntz's widow, Julia Hardin Kuntz, daughters, Rosemonde K. Capomazza di Campolattaro and Karolyn K. Westervelt; the Louisiana Federal Bedchamber, shows how a room of this type might have looked in a fine New Orleans townhouse or great south Louisiana plantation house during the first quarter of the 19th Century. The museum is noted for its collection of European and American works, including works by Degas, Renoir, Matisse, Rodin, Braque, Miró, Jackson Pollock, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe; the museum features a comprehensive survey of French art, including several important works by the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, who lived with his mother's family in New Orleans between 1871 and 1872. Among the permanent exhibition is a survey of local Louisiana artists, as well as other American artists; the museum features a significant collection of art photography with over 12,000 works from the beginnings of photography to the present. Other holdings include collections of glass, portrait miniatures, Native American Art, Central American art from pre-Columbian and Spanish eras, Chinese ceramics, Japanese painting, Indian sculpture and folk arts from Africa and the South Pacific.
The museum works in close collaboration with other local museums The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana State Museum, in developing its special exhibitions. Special exhibitions in the past have included the treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb, relics of Alexander the Great and his times, artifacts from the Louisiana Purchase and that era, a retrospective of Edgar Degas in Louisiana, "Femme! Femme! Femme!" Featuring depictions of women in 18th century French painting, "Carneval!" Focusing on pre-Lenten festivals across several European and American cultures, several anniversary exhibitions related to Hurricane Katrina. The museum offers guided group tours, teacher workshops, online teacher guides, visits to local schools through a museum-on-wheels known as "Van Go." The museum hosts festivals, film screenings, music programs and wellness activities Official website 2011/2012 Centennial anniversary website New Orleans Museum of Art at Google Cultural Institute
Bermondsey is a neighbourhood in the London Borough of Southwark, England, 2.5 miles southeast of Charing Cross. To the west of Bermondsey lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe and Deptford, to the south Walworth and Peckham, to the north the City of London and Whitechapel. Bermondsey may be understood to mean Beornmund's island, thus Bermondsey need not have been an island as such in the Anglo-Saxon period, is as to have been a higher, drier spot in an otherwise marshy area. Though Bermondsey's earliest written appearance is in the Domesday Book of 1086, it appears in a source which, though surviving only in a copy written at Peterborough Abbey in the 12th century, claiming "ancient rights" unproven purporting to be a transcription of a letter of Pope Constantine, in which he grants privileges to a monastery at Vermundesei in the hands of the abbot of Medeshamstede, as Peterborough was known at the time. Bermondsey appears in the Domesday Book as Bermundesye, it was held by King William, though a small part was in the hands of Robert, Count of Mortain, the king's half brother, younger brother of Odo of Bayeux earl of Kent.
Its Domesday assets were recorded as including 13 hides,'a new and handsome church', 5 ploughs, 20 acres of meadow, woodland for 5 pigs. It rendered £15 in total, it included interests in London, in respect of which 13 burgesses paid 44d. The church mentioned in Domesday Book was the nascent Bermondsey Abbey, founded as a Cluniac priory in 1082, was dedicated to St Saviour. Monks from the abbey began the development of the area, cultivating the land and embanking the riverside, they turned an adjacent tidal inlet at the mouth of the River Neckinger into a dock, named St Saviour's Dock after their abbey. But Bermondsey was little more than a high street ribbon, leading from the southern bank of the Thames, at Tooley Street, up to the abbey close; the Knights Templar owned land here and gave their names to one of the most distinctive streets in London, Shad Thames. Other ecclesiastical properties stood nearby at Tooley Street, located in the Archbishop of Canterbury's manor of Southwark, where wealthy citizens and clerics had their houses, including the priors of Lewes and St Augustine's, the abbot of Battle.
King Edward III built a manor house close to the Thames in Bermondsey in 1353. The excavated foundations are visible next to Bermondsey Wall East close to the famous Angel public house; as it developed over the centuries, Bermondsey underwent some striking changes. After the Great Fire of London, it was settled by the well-to-do and took on the character of a garden suburb along the lines of Grange Road, as Bermondsey Street became more urbanised, of Jamaica/ Lower Road. A pleasure garden was founded there in the 17th century, commemorated by the Cherry Garden Pier. Samuel Pepys visited "Jamaica House" at Cherry Gardens in 1664 and recorded in his diary that he had left it "singing finely". Jamaica Road still remains. Though not many buildings survive from this era, one notable exception is the church of St Mary Magdalen in Bermondsey Street, completed in 1690; this church came through The Blitz unscathed. It is not just an unusual survivor for Bermondsey. In the 18th century, the discovery of a spring from the river Neckinger in the area led to the development of Bermondsey Spa, as the area between Grange and Jamaica Roads called Spa Road commemorates.
A new church was built for the growing population of the area, named St John Horsleydown. It was from the Bermondsey riverside that the painter J. M. W. Turner executed his famous painting of The Fighting "Temeraire" Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken Up, depicting the veteran warship being towed to Rotherhithe to be scrapped. By the mid-19th century, parts of Bermondsey along the riverside, had become notorious slums with the arrival of industrial plants and immigrant housing; the area around St. Saviour's Dock, known as Jacob's Island, was one of the worst in London, it was immortalised in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist, in which the villain, Bill Sikes, meets his end in the mud of'Folly Ditch', in reference to Hickman's Folly, which surrounded Jacob's Island. Dickens provides a vivid description of what it was like:... crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath. Bermondsey Town Hall was built on Spa Road in 1881 but Blitzed in 1941.
The area was extensively redeveloped during the 19th century and early 20th century with the expansion of the river trade and the arrival of the railways. London's first passenger railway terminus was built by the London to Greenwich Railway in 1836 at London B
Peter Paul Rubens
Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history, his unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat, knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. Rubens was a prolific artist; the catalogue of his works by Michael Jaffé lists 1,403 pieces, excluding numerous copies made in his workshop. His commissioned works were "history paintings", which included religious and mythological subjects, hunt scenes.
He painted portraits of friends, self-portraits, in life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed prints, as well as his own house, he oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the royal entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria in 1635. His drawings are predominantly forceful and without great detail, he made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium for large works, but he used canvas as well when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems. Rubens was born in the city of Siegen to Maria Pypelincks, he was named in honour of Saint Paul, because he was born on their solemnity. His father, a Calvinist, mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Habsburg Netherlands by the Duke of Alba. Jan Rubens became the legal adviser of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine, born in 1571.
Following Jan Rubens's imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father's death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic. Religion figured prominently in much of his work, Rubens became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting. In Antwerp, Rubens received a Renaissance humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city's leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen. Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists' works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.
In 1600 Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga; the colouring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens's painting, his mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian. With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he copied works of the Italian masters; the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons was influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He was influenced by the recent naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio. Rubens made a copy of Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ and recommended his patron, the Duke of Mantua, to purchase The Death of the Virgin. After his return to Antwerp he was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary for the St. Paul's Church in Antwerp. During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian, collected by Philip II, he painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian's Charles V at Mühlberg. This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined diplomacy, he returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria, the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, he began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was in Rome. During this period Rubens received, with the assistance of Cardinal Jacopo Serra, his most important commission to