The Elevation of the Cross, 1610–1611. Central panel of tritych. Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Movement, color, and sensuality— Rubens’ paintings use vivid color, tenebrism, and stresses a special musculature. In this triptych, the muscular men seem unable to bear the weight of Christ. Jesus’ body is foreshortened and directed at the audience creating emotional impact.
One of his major patrons (not of this painting) was Marie de’ Medici, the Queen Mother of France.