The works discussed span the entirety of Rubens’s career and attest to the complexity of the iconographic division in which the depictions of Jesus Christ’s public life were thought and created.
“In an important way, this CRLB volume continues the Rubenianum’s long tradition of supporting certain early career scholars dating back to the young Huvenne himself, and promoting serious and productive, inter-generational collaborations for which Rubens himself aptly paved the way.” (Catherine H. Lusheck, , in Historians of Netherlandish Art Reviews, May 2019)
The present volume of the Corpus Rubenianum catalogues Rubens’s exploration and representation of the theme of the public life of Christ. The period in Christ’s life during which he spread his message by wandering and preaching with the apostles in the Holy Land, offered a particularly poignant and important part of religious discourse within the context of the Counter-Reformation period in the Netherlands. In order to rebut the Calvinists and their call for the stripping of imagery and lavish decoration from churches, and the destruction of furniture and altarpieces that followed, the Roman Catholic Church sought to establish an innovative and powerful visual rhetoric with renewed urgency. The scenes from the ministry of Christ could serve as potent reminders of the core values of Roman Catholic spirituality. Rubens, as a devout Catholic, created a number of impressive paintings to express this, although most of the works he produced seem to have been intended for the open market. The works discussed span the entirety of Rubens’s career and attest to the complexity of the iconographic division in which the depictions of Jesus Christ’s public life were thought and created.