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The Art of Diplomacy

November 7, 2009

Mark Lamster overviews the artist’s Peter Paul Rubens’ negotiation skills in WSJ:

pp rubensToday, Peter Paul Rubens is best remembered as the Old Master with a penchant for fleshy, pink nudes and baroque grandiosity. These perceptions suggest a man of unchecked libertinism, but Rubens was in fact a man of controlled appetites, with a modest disposition and a reputation for tact and discretion. Almost inevitably, given his proximity to monarchs and statesmen across Europe, he was conscripted into political service as a covert diplomat and spy; his artistic work could always provide cover for his clandestine activities.

Because we think of Rubens primarily as an artist, and because the political affairs of the 17th century are so remote, Rubens’s diplomatic career is neglected when it is not altogether forgotten. But a review of Rubens’s correspondence, along with other archival sources, suggests he played a central and active role in European statecraft.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 4:04 PM

    Sorry for writing OFF TOPIC – what WordPress theme do you use? It looks interesting.

    • December 11, 2009 10:56 PM

      Hello. Thank you, I’m glad you find the theme interesting. It is called “Vigilance” by Jestro.

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