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By Cesare Fabbri

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In this way Rubens organized the diversit)' forms in his picture so that they would hold together, and he heightened the drama by concentrating all the viewer's attention on the life and death animal struggle in the heart of the painting. The Htppoporjinus Hunt. c. 1615-1616 47 of In his hunting scenes, Rubens played not only on the viewers' emotional reactions to — moments of personal courage as in the shown here but also on their — painting interest in exotic subjects. Europe was discovering the rest of the world.

Rubens' attachment to the ducal suite began in October 1600 with a journey to Florence for one of the most notable weddings of the age. The bride. Marie de" Medici, was the younger sister of V'incenzos wife. The sjroom was the King of France. The King could not find the time to come to his own wedding, and the ceremony was conducted by proxy; was a magnificent one. and nonetheless, the occasion bens an opportunitw between testiyities. to see the also offered it Ru- wonders of Florence. possible that he painted the royal bride for the Duke's Gallery of It is Beauties.

Ill A Golden Foundation Duke 1608 that he When Rubens would return to Italy after visiting his family in Antwerp, he had ever\' told the of Mantua's secretary' in intention of keeping his promise. All known of the of friends and pa- own his to find that his mother to put up over her tomb as to the "best of mothers" the noble altarpiece that he had originally designed for the Chiesa finest picture circle he would be back within a few months. Fast as he traveled, was already dead. growing time perhaps even more than Italy at this He thought countr\'.

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