A Series of Paintings on Postcards – Petrus Christus, Portrait of a Young Girl

During my early childhood, my father received dairies every year. These were wonderful to me as each showcased  some aspect of India’s art and architecture. And then it was my sister’s school book which furthered my love for art as it had passages about paintings with some very good colour plates. Alas that textbooks in India today lack such quality.

My journey of exploration of world art settled on European painters for many years as our school had some fine art books and a serene room in which students could sit and explore such volumes. Somewhere along the way, people started sending me picture postbards with famous paintings.

Today I share with you, not the first such postcard that I received, but one that is earliest in terms of the period of the painter.

Petrus_Christus_-_Portrait_of_a_Young_Woman_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
By Petrus Christus – UAGsuoFcmmRiTg at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13333895

I will not go into detail about Petrus ChristusPortrait of a Young Girl, as there is a long and thorough discussion about it on Flemish Primitive Mystery Painting. He is said to be influenced by Jan van Eyck.

I have certainly seen a Jan van Eyck or two in my time. 

Van_Eyck_-_Arnolfini_Portrait.jpg
By Jan van Eyck – Web site of National Gallery, London, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11343084

and am more familiar with other Flemish masters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Many of his pictures are fascinatingly full of details and will surely enchant any child or adult.  11 Most Beautiful Paintings By Pieter Bruegel The Elder offers informative annotations on the selected works. In the meanwhile, here is a sample of his style as I recall it.

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_Peasant_Wedding_-_Google_Art_Project_2.jpg
By Pieter Brueghel the Elder – Google Art Project: Home – pic Maximum resolution., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20361036

 And watch this video to learn more about his style and works:

However, the one painter of this lot who left the greatest impression is Peter Paul Rubens. This is, perhaps, because of a family joke which likened plump ladies to Rubens works. Thus, some might refer to a large lady as being ‘rubenesque’.

Peter_Paul_Rubens_-_The_Three_Graces,_1635.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Internet has many wonderful art galleries where you can explore paintings by these artists and there are books on painters which are often very engaging for any reader. Try:

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