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Petak, 22 Oktobar 2021 11:01

Honeysuckle Bower by Peter Paul Rubens is a loving portrait of the couple Istaknut

Shortly after his return after eight years in Italy, the 32-year-old Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens married the 18-year-old Isabella Brant on 3 October 1609. The same year he painted a double portrait Honeysuckle Bower where the artist has a self-portrait and a portrait of his wife. The full title of this painting from 1609-1610 is The Artist and his First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower. This painting is entitled Honeysuckle Bower and housed in the Alte Pinakothek Gallery in Munich.

The pair on painting Honeysuckle Bower is depicted sitting in a honeysuckle branch. Their eyes are full of confidence and wonder, indicating that the expectations of their future are bright. Both of them are well-recognized in society one being a painter and the other being the daughter of Jan Brant, secretary of Antwerp. Therefore they are shown as noble individuals with elegance, chivalry, and self-confidence. Rubens has depicted himself as an aristocratic gentleman with his left hand on the hilt of his sword while his right hand supports the right hand of his wife. He sits slightly raised above his wife, who sits beside him on a grassy bank, with his legs crossed on a balustrade. Isabella Brant is portrayed with great happiness brimming through her cheeks making her smile benevolent. She wears a brocade bodice and a dark red skirt, a ruff around her neck, a traditional Flemish hat and she holds a fan in her left arm.

The traditional symbolism is integrated with a scene in the painting Honeysuckle Bower. Everything around the couple is green and flourishing. They are surrounded by love and marriage symbolism: the honeysuckle and garden are traditional symbols of love, and the holding of right hands represents union through marriage.

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