Last week I finally made it to the family grave of the Rubens family in Antwerp in the Church of St James. Good job I put my two jumpers on, it was quite chilly willy in there. I must admit I was a bit disappointed. All the pictures I'd seen of it made it look epicly huge. IRL it looked so tiny. One of the prints was on display which was made when the vault was opened in the 1855.
Just before Dr Livingstone had to go on tour again we'd also visited the Rubens House together. I'm studying Baroque Art this semester, and living in Belgium means everything Rubens ad nauseam. We went to see the Kamers vol Kunst exhibition currently on in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
All of my professors have been trying to convince me of the sheer unearthly talent Rubens had, but not a lot of the works he (and his countless assistants made) really have the 'umph' I'd expect after the heaps of superlatives. I'm more a fan of the Caravaggesque Baroque. But anyhow, I'm not going the one to be swearing in church. They are great works of art.
I finished a historic novel back in Januari called Rubensrood by Staf Schoeters. It was a bit disappointing, plotwise, but it brought the seventeenth century alive for a moment. As I've mentioned before, I do like to read something of a historical novel or detective about the period I'm studying about. But it does not always help, because anecdotes end up being confused with facts in my tiny tiny brain. So I can't overdo it too much. I read Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy during summer because in first term he was up for scrutiny.
But the Rubens pilgrimage wasn't the real reason I went to the St James. I had to write a piece on the main altar and two confessionals. Stunningly beautiful and I think every penny well spent by canon Hillewerve.
It is always tricky to take snaps of dark wood in dark nooks and crannies of churches.