Eugene Delacroix was one of his greatest admirers, yet in his private
journal he described the pictures of his Flemish predecessor, Peter Paul Rubens
(1577-1640), as being like "public meetings where everybody talks at once."
It is an apt description; it applies not only to the paintings, but to the
man, his studio, his entire career. Like his paintings, he often seemed larger
than life. His appetites were enormous, his capacity for work seemingly unlimited,
his output prodigious. His love for all things—family, country, goodness,
beauty—was equally unlimited. One suspects he loved many things for
no reason other than that they existed; whatever existed possessed beauty
if only by the fact of that existence.
Southgate MT. The Holy Family With Saints Elizabeth and John the Baptist. JAMA. 2001;286(24):3051. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3051