Massacre of the Innocents

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– SOLD FOR $76.7 MILLION (equivalent to $100.6 million in 2015) July 10, 2002 to Kenneth Thomson
– The buyer – once the 9th richest person in the world with a $17.9 billion dollar fortune – gifted this painting and others (in fact, his whole art collection) to the Art Gallery of Ontario later in 2002.
– If you are historically or biblically-minded you’ll be hard pressed to find a more interesting painting.

SKU: 143039
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The painting is one of two done by Peter Paul Rubens with the “Massacre of the Innocents” name and theme. The piece shows the biblical massacre in Bethlehem (Gospel of Matthew). It’s a gruesome scene, and one that the people of Antwerp could have related to, having experienced their own war and massacres just a few years before.

Historically the painting is important, as is the artist. Rubens is a giant amongst the old masters and hugely influential. The adjective “rubenesque”, a term meaning plump and sensuous, originates from the way he portrayed women in his art.

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