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Press Releases

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Peter Paul Reubens Discussion Continues Brown Bag Series

SALISBURY, MD---Dr. Anke Van Wagenberg, art historian in the Art Department at Salisbury University, continues the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts Brown Bag Lunch Discussion Series noon Tuesday, April 4, in the University Gallery of Fulton Hall.

Van Wagenberg speaks on “Peter Paul Rubens and Antiquity: the Search for a New Title.” The discussion focuses on a 17th century painting by the Flemish artist. In the past century there has been confusion about the correct title of the painting, Tiberius and Agrippina, which came to the United States via private collections. It currently hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Recent research has raised some doubts about the title of the double portrait, featuring two ancient Roman heads in profile. A hypothesis for a new title is proposed, based on issues including the complex relationship between the Roman Emperor Tiberius and Germanicus’ wife, Agrippina the Elder. The hypothesis also takes into consideration Rubens’s knowledge of the antiques and Roman Julian-Claudian history through Tacitus in particular.

The painting is compared with another double profile portrait painted by Rubens’ studio and with compositional motifs from coins and cameos that may have inspired Rubens for this particular jugate portrait. Specific features of the sitters are taken into account. Rubens’ painting set the standard for the double profile portrait as painterly subject matter. Admission is free and the public is invited. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at "

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