“The Exchange of Princesses” – Rubens

The Exchange of Princesses

This beautiful, and lesser-known work of Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens, represents the marriage of Anne of Austria to Louis XIII of France and also the marriage of Phillip IV of Spain. Surrounded by deities and gods from classical mythology, one princess is being guided towards France, the other towards Spain, and thus do we have the exchange. Note the use of angelic cherubs at the top of the painting- a common device of Rubens – and the fruit at the corners, symbolising plenty.

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