Battle of the Amazons Peter Paul Rubens Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Few paintings ooze the style of the Baroque movement more than Battle of the Amazons by Peter Paul Rubens which arrived just as the artist was starting to peak, as displayed in the confidence of this complex composition.

Comparisons can be made with The Battle of Anghiari and Rubens was never shy to admit the Italian influences on his work, both in style but also sources of inspiration. Indeed, Rubens made his own copy of the Da Vinci painting which is now lost to the world, sadly. He would study these great masters down to the last brushstroke, travelling around Italy to see as much of their original work as possible. There was no photography or media at this stage so he would be forced to manually make his own copies in order to refer to them at a later date.

The Battle of the Amazons covers the war between the Athenians of Theseus and the opposing warriors of Telestris. Herodotus (4.110) makes a fleeting mention of this incident. The image at the bottom of this page offer a more detailed photograph of the painting and allows us to appreciate more about the composition. Amazons are thrown from their horses as they cross the bridge and fall into the river below.

Battle of the Amazons was completed in 1618 and can now be found in the world-famous Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany. At this stage the artist was around 40 years old and approaching his peak. The size of the canvas is 166cm wide by 121cm tall, which is considerably smaller than the main highlights of his career, such as Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt, Elevation of the Cross, Descent from the Cross and Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The Alte Pinakothek in Munich has a fine collection of Italian and North European Renaissance art, covering the 14th to the 18th century. Some of the highlights includes work from Hans Holbein, Matthias Grünewald, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Anthony van Dyck. Most major art museums have a broad collection, but this fine gallery specialises on the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Battle of the Amazons in Detail Peter Paul Rubens