Pieter Paul Rubens als diplomatiek debutant - Het verhaal van een ambitieus politiek agent in de vroege zeventiende eeuw | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 123, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


‘In 1621, the year of renewed war, the archduke Albert died. As he lay dying, he urged the infanta, who would now be left to rule alone, to rely henceforth on the advice of Rubens.’ Some thirty years ago, this was how the British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper described the beginnings of Peter Paul Rubens’s diplomatic career. Although well-written and stirring one’s imagination, this quotation may seem somewhat alien to historians living in the twenty-first century. This article aims to reconsider Rubens’s first steps on the diplomatic scene, thereby critically evaluating existing historiography and paying close attention to the historical context that surrounded his diplomatic activities. The Antwerp painter-diplomat is presented here as an ambitious political agent and a harsh competitor, always on the lookout to further his ‘career’ and to fulfil his social ambitions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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