The most famous son of Antwerp is Peter Paul Rubens. He came to Antwerp as a 12-year-old boy and has lived there ever since, with the exception of a short period in Italy. That life in Italy strongly influenced Rubens. He returned to Antwerp in 1608, two years later he had a house on the Vaartstraat (now: Wapper) rebuilt. It became a small palace following the example of the Renaissance palaces in Italy.
Next to the house he set up a studio for his students. They painted a total of 25,000 canvases and panels there. So it was a real painting factory, but the production was of high quality. Rubens himself worked in a private studio on the top floor of his house.
In 1937 the city of Antwerp bought the building. It was officially opened shortly after the Second World War. There are works by Rubens and his pupils, including the famous self-portrait of the Flemish master. One of his earliest works, 'Adam and Eve in Paradise', hangs in the large studio. The living area contains furniture from the time of Rubens' life and the garden has been reconstructed in its original state as much as possible. For art lovers, the Rubens House is one of the must-visit sights in Antwerp.
Rubens died in 1640 and was buried in St. James' Church. His burial chapel can be visited, but the church is only open in the afternoon.
Website: Rubens House
Address: Wapper 9-11 Opening
Hours: 10.00-17.00 (closed on Mondays)
Consult the Rubens House website for up-to-date price information and opening hours.