Complete 12 pages APA formatted article: Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens. The Massacre is deemed to have been inspired by Ruben’s stay in Italy, as Court Painter to the Duke of Mantua. Here, he was impressed and influenced by classical sculpture as well as the works of Renaissance and contemporary artists as is evident in the bravura display of figures. The complex and ambitious display of interlocking figures that are almost sculptural shows his admiration for Michelangelo’s work. His pictorial style shows the influence of Caravaggio’s baroque paintings.
During his eight-year stay in Italy, he was able to study first-hand, the aspects of chiaroscuro, emotive dynamism and sheer drama, as is evident in the Massacre. The painting’s earliest known owner was Antonio Carena, an Italian merchant who lived in Antwerp. By the end of the 17th Century, the ownership of the painting was attributed to the Forchondt brothers who were renowned art dealers in Vienna and Antwerp. they later sold the painting, along with another work by Rubens, Samson and Delilah, to the Prince of Liechtenstein, Johann Adam Andreas I. The Massacre was then sold to another art dealer in the 1920s. later it was later bought by Canadian Newspaper magnate, Kenneth Thomson, at a world record £49.5 million at the 2002 auction in Sotheby’s, London. Thomson donated it to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Thomson collections, where it lies to date.
The violent and dramatic depiction of Herod’s massacre of the male infant Jews is both beautiful and horrific. the painting shows graphic images of the crushing of bones, cutting of the skin, grabbing and pulling of hair and clothes. The masculine soldiers smash the babies on the pedestals without remorse as the mothers try to fight them off, exquisite artistry. On the lower right, one woman kneels while cradling her dead son, at the same time, she pulls her hair in grief. Above her is a near-naked herculean soldier holding a baby aloft as two mothers beg him to show mercy. The woman in the middle with a silky red skirt seems to be collapsing towards us due to the weight of the elderly woman who is also falling due to a struggle with a soldier holding a sword. .