Honeysuckle Bower

The Honeysuckle Bower
Peter Paul Rubens Peter Paul Rubens - The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower.jpg
ArtistPeter Paul Rubens
Yearc. 1609
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions178 cm × 136.5 cm (70 in × 53.7 in)
LocationAlte Pinakothek, Munich

The Honeysuckle Bower (c. 1609) is a self-portrait of the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens and his first wife Isabella Brant. They wed on 3 October 1609, in St. Michael's Abbey, Antwerp, shortly after he had returned to the city after eight years in Italy.[1]

The painting is a full-length double portrait of the couple seated in a bower (wikt) of honeysuckle. They are surrounded by love and marriage symbolism: the honeysuckle and garden are both traditional symbols of love, and the holding of right hands (junctio dextrarum) represents union through marriage.[2][3] Additionally, Rubens depicts himself as an aristocratic gentleman with his left hand on the hilt of his sword.[4]


External links

Media related to Honeysuckle Bower by Peter Paul Rubens at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Kristin Lohse Belkin, Rubens, London: Phadon (1998): 95–98. ISBN 0-7148-3412-2
  2. ^ Martin Schawe, Alte Pinakothek Munich, 2nd. ed., Munich: Prestel (2002): 76. ISBN 3-7913-2239-7
  3. ^ Hans Vlieghe, Flemish Art and Architecture 1585–1700, New Haven: Yale University Press (1998): 121–122. ISBN 0-300-07038-1
  4. ^ Belkin, 98.

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