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Rubenshuis, Antwerp

9–11 Wapper
Belgium 2000
Tel: 32 3201 1555's insider take:

Peter Paul Rubens liked his women fleshy and his home palatial, so when he bought this building in 1610, he set out to turn it into a Renaissance palazzo that befitted a painter who would one day occupy the top echelons of Old Masters. Out of the Rubens family hands for nearly 300 years following the painter's death, the house was finally acquired by the city in 1937, and it set about restoring the place with as much bona fide Rubens memorabilia as possible, filling in the gaps with period pieces. The ten Rubens paintings on display include a self-portrait, as well as a portrait of another young lad who showed some skill with a paintbrush: Anthony van Dyck.

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