The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) married his first wife, Isabella Brant,
in Antwerp in 1609. She was 18, he 32. She was the eldest daughter of Jan
Brant, a prominent lawyer and one of the four Secretaries of Antwerp; Rubens
was a member of the St Luke's Guild of Antwerp, he had connections to powerful
members of the nobility, and he was a veteran of royal missions to Mantua,
Rome, and Spain. His brother was Philip Rubens, a leading Humanist scholar,
and, like Jan Brant, a Secretary of Antwerp. Isabella bore Rubens three children:
Clara-Serena in 1611, Albert in 1614, and Nicholas in 1618. The two boys survived
childhood, but Clara-Serena did not: she died in 1623, at the age of 12 (but
not before Rubens had captured her as an exuberant 5-year-old in a 1616 portrait
(JAMA cover, October 21, 1988). Nor would Isabella long survive: she died
in 1626, at age 35, of plague, some say; a major outbreak was sweeping through
Europe that year.
Southgate MT. Isabella Brant. JAMA. 2002;287(15):1904. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1904