Alex Marr (University of Cambridge) in conversation with Christine Göttler (University of Bern), and François Quiviger (Warburg Institute) Peter Paul Rubens was the most inventive and prolific northern European artist of his age.

This book discusses his life and work in relation to three interrelated themes: spirit, ingenuity, and genius. It argues that Rubens and his reception were pivotal in the transformation of early modern ingenuity into Romantic genius. Ranging across the artist’s entire career, it explores Rubens’s engagement with these themes in his art and life. Alexander Marr looks at Rubens’s forays into altarpiece painting in Italy as well as his collaborations with fellow artists in his hometown of Antwerp, and his complex relationship with the spirit of pleasure. It concludes with his late landscapes in connection to genius loci, the spirit of the place.

Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge. His most recent book is Logodaedalus: Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe.

Christine Göttler is Professor emerita of Art History at the University of Bern, specializes in the art of early modern Europe, with a focus on the Netherlands. She has published widely on collecting practices, historical aspects of artists’ materials, and the imagery of solitude.

Renaissance Lives is a series of biographies published by Reaktion Books as well as a series of conversations discussing the ways in which individuals transmitted or changed the lives of traditions, ideas and images.