Peter Paul Rubens 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640, was a Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality. He is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, 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 who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.
Rubens is the embodiment of Flemish baroque. His temperament helps him break with the reigning, rigid style of his day. Characteristic of his work are the many voluptuous nudes, chubby to modern standards.
Peter Paul Rubens is probably just as well known in the English world today due to his affirmation of the beauty and sensuality of the plus-sized woman.
Rubens was very fond of voluptuous and plump women and he featured them wherever possible in his paintings.
It was fashionable for women at the time to carry some weight, and Rubens helped in the idealization of this as the womanly figure. Actually, Rubens took it to a whole new level, making it the standard in all his work.
The adjective we still use today, “Rubenesque”, is used to describe plump, voluptuous, curvaceous women in a flattering way.
Before Rubens was born Michelangelo made the Creation of Adam. It is a fresco painting forming part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512. It illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God breathes life into Adam, the first man. The fresco is part of a complex iconographic scheme and is chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
6 March 1475 – 18 February
commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect,
poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled
influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond
the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high
order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal
Renaissance man, along with his fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.