" L'esquisse de Rubens-" Art Column-the manuscript of Rubens-The Garden of Love

The painting we used in the dress is a woodcut printmaking based on the manuscript of Rubens' oil painting "The Garden of Love," which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The oil painting is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

Pieter Paul Rubens was a Baroque Flemish painterwho created many oil paintings, including portraits, landscapes, mythologicaland historical paintings, as well as many printmaking based on his manuscript.The total number of his printmaking is about 2,200, of which he was directlyinvolved in about 100. In Europe, the trend of reproducing the works of theRenaissance masterpiece and ancient Roman sculptures in print form began in the 16thcentury.At the same time, artists wereeager to express their ideas through different media other than oil painting,so the printmaking based on manuscript became popular. It was in the early 1630s that Rubensturned his attention to woodblock printing. Because of the great difficulty inreproducing prints exactly as they appear in the manuscript, Rubens supervisedthe engravers who reproduced his paintings, and searching for talentedengravers throughout his career. The printmaking of "The Garden ofLove" was a collaboration with the Flemish Baroque engraver ChristoffelJegher(Rubens was very strict about printmaking, andthere was an anecdote about an assassination attempt on Rubens by the engraverForstermann in 1623).The composition of the printmaking "TheGarden of Love" is divided into left and right two parts, with the figurespushed to the foreground and angels flying around them. If we look at thedetails of the painting, first we can see on the left part `s left side, thereis a couple walking towards the center of the garden, pushed by cubit, the godof love. The man is considered to be the author Rubens, and the young woman ishis second wife, Helena Fourment. From the affectionate expression on Rubens'face, we can see that he cares for his wife very much. With his right hand onher arm and his left hand lightly supporting her back. They walk slowly andcarefully, looks like he tries to not to let her fall. Hélène's gaze is lightly downward, showing the reserve and shyness thata young girl has(This expression ismore obvious in the oil painting).



Next, we take a look at the women sitting in the right half of the painting, which all have different expressions. Next to the woman sitting on the left side, the Cubit is whispering something to her secretly. She turns her gaze forward and seems to be thinking carefully about what Cubit is saying.

The woman seated in the center, she grabs the hand of the woman on the right and looks like she is asking her to sit together.

The angel holding a crown of flowers and a torch on the top of the painting is the God of Marriage.

The statue on the far right, with the three women facing each other, is The Three Graces, representing Love, Purity, and Beauty. As we can see, all the figures and objects in Rubens' work have their own thinking or meanings, thus it gives the painting very deep meaning.

This time our designer created this dress in the hope that we could pay attention to the beauty of the printmaking version of this manuscript. Through the touch of lines and expressions that can only be seen in a manuscript, we can see the true character of the artist and a side of him that is not usually seen. It would also be a great pleasure for our designer if the unique pale blue and beige colors on this print could bring a moment of peace to everyone's heart.