The Easel

Rubers: The Power of Transformation

A whiff of disapproval seems to attach to Rubens. Is it his prolific use of studio assistants, all that voluptuous flesh, or his borrowing of other people’s ideas? He was, of course, a product of his time. Aspiring artists went to Rome and then liberally referenced others’ works as a sign of new erudition. It wasn’t considered plagiarism. Indeed, it’s what marks Rubens as special – he could take the ideas of others and improve on them.