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Canvas by Rubens “Garden of Love”, or as it is also called “Garden of Lovers”, is often interpreted as a description of a certain period of the artist’s life, or rather, the time after his second marriage. Perhaps this is so. Especially when you consider that the picture was painted by Rubens for the soul, and not “on order”.
The overall composition is a group of people resting on the background of the temple of the patroness of marriage - the goddess Juno.
On the left is a pair: a young girl in a blue dress and a gentleman, in whose face a resemblance to the artist himself is clearly visible. The couple’s position clearly hints to the viewer about the romantic period of courtship in their relationship. The girl in the picture is a little confused, the man is persistent and convincing. They are clearly attracted to each other.
In the central part of the canvas, the viewer sees the same girl who is next to three other women. Her face has changed. She is no longer embarrassed, but involved in a conversation with one of the ladies. On the right, another group approaches this group: a woman in white clothes and a man dressed in Spanish style. This is clearly a married couple, possibly just married.
This arrangement of composite elements is far from accidental. Rubens shares with the audience the story of his newfound love: from the first love to the desired moment of the wedding ceremony.
The canvas is saturated with allegories of a love theme: the temple of the patroness of marriage, women in the center who personify the judiciousness, ecstasy and happiness of motherhood. And finally, a lot of angels and cupids, characteristic of the paintings of that time.
Did Rubens depict the story of his love in the picture? Partly yes. But only the genius himself could say that possessed his feelings at the time of writing the canvas. Perhaps he was simply inspired by the love poems that were popular at that time, because it was not without reason that Rubens himself called his work ... "Fashionable Conversations."