Belkin, Kristin Lohse
BELKIN, Kristin Lohse
ADDRESSES: Home—23 S. Adelaide Ave., Highland Park, NJ 09804. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Art historian and author, c. 1978–.
The Costume Book (Volume 24 of Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard), Harvey Miller-Heyden & Son (Philadelphia, PA), 1978.
(Editor) J.W. von Moltke, Arent de Gelder: Dordrecht 1645–1727, Davaco (Dornspijk, Netherlands), 1994.
Rubens, also published as Rubens A&I (Art and Ideas), Phaidon (London, England), 1998.
(With Carl Depauw) Beelden van de dood: Rubens kopieert Holbein, Rubenshuis (Antwerp, Belgium), 2000.
(With Fiona Healy) A House of Art: Rubens as Collector, Rubenshuis & Rubenianum (Antwerp, Belgium), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Kristin Lohse Belkin is an art historian who has written on the work of Peter Paul Rubens, a celebrated Flemish painter of the seventeenth century. In her first work, The Costume Book, Belkin catalogues the drawings Rubens made in preparation for some of his large historical paintings, which demonstrate the artist's determination to capture with historical accuracy colors, armor, and women's headdresses. Generously illustrated with Rubens's own sketches and accompanying notes, The Costume Book "traces and illustrates the varied sources of many of [Rubens's] figure designs," remarked J.L. Nevinson in the Antiquaries Journal. Nevinson concluded: "It is … extremely interesting to be able to study in detail what drawings [Rubens] had, and how he used them."
In Belkin's biography, Rubens, the author focuses on the artist's life experiences as they informed the style and content of his art. Belkin introduces the reader to the future artist's early family life, and sketches in the political and religious controversies that raged in the Netherlands during Rubens's lifetime. Rubens's extended visits to Italy, where he absorbed the influences of such masters of the Italian Renaissance as Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Correggio, are documented, and his career as a Flemish diplomat to several courts in Europe is surveyed for its influence on his portrayal of women as peacemakers in a time of political and social upheaval. This focus on the context of Rubens's career as a painter highlights the progress of the artist's development, according to Nadine Dalton Speidel, writing in Library Journal. Speidel concluded that Belkin "does a marvelous job of tracking the progression of Rubens's artistic, allegorical, and iconographic content."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Antiquaries Journal, summer, 1981, J.L. Nevinson, review of The Costume Book, p. 401.
Apollo, May, 1982, review of The Costume Book, p. 418.
Burlington, April, 1982, review of The Costume Book, p. 245; May, 1999, review of Rubens,
Library Journal, October 1, 1998, Nadine Dalton Speidel, review of Rubens, p. 80.