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The Cover
April 17, 2002

Isabella Brant

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2002;287(15):1904. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1904

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.

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