The Rainbow

Lawrence Gowing

  • Rubens and the Poetics of Landscape by Lisa Vergara
    Yale, 228 pp, £29.00, November 1982, ISBN 0 03 000250 8
  • James Ward’s Gordale Scar: An Essay in the Sublime by Edward Nygren
    Tate Gallery, 64 pp, £2.95, November 1982, ISBN 0 905005 93 7

The idea of the painter as a power of nature, an organ of creation in himself, has been as deeply-rooted and long-lasting as anything in the Western legend of the artist. Rubens was every kind of power. He was the instrument of divinity, the tool of statecraft, the agent of dynastic aspirations, the wielder of philoprogenitive potency until the last month of his life and the progenitor not only of children but of generative images to match.

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