Published June 20th, 2011
“Even four hundred years after he walked its streets, finding a place in Antwerp redolent of Peter Paul Rubens is no problem. He remains a ubiquitous presence in his home town, from the central Groenplaats, commanded by a larger-than-life statue of the painter, to the house and workshop that he designed for himself, now a museum. His paintings of swooning heroes and sultry maidens, are to be found in any number of churches and galleries. All of these places are worth visiting, but if I were to choose a favorite spot it might be Kloosterstraat, a quiet winding lane that the Rubens family lived on during his adolescence.
Although the cloister that gave the street its name is no longer there, it is still a street Rubens would very much recognize, a charming street of modest homes, beautifully kept. The best part: it is today lined with antique dealers of all kinds: furniture, books, and ephemera. It’s only fitting, for Rubens, among his many careers and passions, was a distinguished collector of antiquities in his own right. A highlight of any trip to Antwerp.”