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Paper: Landscape by Moonlight: Peter Paul Rubens and Astronomy
Volume: 501, Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VIII
Page: 21
Authors: Mendillo, M.
Abstract: In the last years of his life, Rubens (1577–1640) lived happily with his wife and children on his Het Steen estate. During this period he worked and reworked a painting that had special meaning to him—Landscape by Moonlight (1635–40), now at the Courtauld Gallery in London. After a highly successful career painting religious and secular portraits, allegories, and occasional landscapes, Rubens put an extraordinary amount of effort into this final landscape. He was well known as a person who would commit to memory ideas and themes that he would use in future works. This paper reviews Rubens' attention to the visualization of nature, his personal connections to Elsheimer, Galileo, and Peiresc, and explores his possible depiction of constellations recalled from memory and placed within the cloudy skies in his Landscape by Moonlight.
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