The Philadelphia Museum of Art is fortunate to be able to show many aspects of the protean genius that was Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640),
one of the artistic giants of the seventeenth century. In addition to the splendid Constantine tapestries woven after designs by Rubens (and
Pietro da Cortona) that surround the Great Stair Hall, Ruben's impressive Prometheus Bound
is displayed in one of the second-floor painting
galleries. The focus of the present exhibition, however, is on an earlier stage in Ruben's creative process, one in which he formulated his
compositional ideas--the oil sketch.