Peace and War, 1629-1630
Oil on canvas, 77 7/8 x 116 7/8 inches (198 x 297 cm)
Among Rubens' most famous assistants were Anthony Van Dyck and Frans Snyders. Rubens's phenomenal productivity was interrupted from time to time by diplomatic duties given to him by his royal patrons, Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Isabella, for whom Rubens conducted negotiations in 1625 aimed at ending the war between the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic and helped conclude a peace treaty between England and Spain (1629-30). Charles I of England was so impressed with Rubens's efforts that he knighted the Flemish painter and commissioned his only surviving ceiling painting, “The Allegory of War and Peace” (1629; Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London).