This Official Postcrossing card comes from Ukraine! This here is a depiction of the Rubens Room of the Hermitage Musuem in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This room exhibits the works of Peter Paul Rubens, a Flemish painter (meaning, from Flanders, the northern part of Belgium) of the 17th century. Rubens was known for his immense contributions to the Flemish Baroque art style, although I guess it’d be more appropriate to say he basically fathered the movement! In short Flemish Baroque art is a style of that part of 17th century Europe that is based into three genres: history, religious and mythological painting. The style takes inspiration from the Italian Renaissance and is very detailed and realistic-looking. You’d also see a rise in self and family portraits during this period. So yeah, Rubens did all that. He was born in Germany but later moved to Antwerp, where he eventually owned a large studio that also served as a workshop for his pupils (including Anthony van Dyck, another big name for Flemish Baroque art). Rubens’ works are considered to be very theatrical and dramatic, and much of the time the human body (which was kind of his specialty) was the focal point. Works like “Massacre of the Innocents” and “Prometheus Bound” are good examples to represent his style. He was commissioned by members of nobility to do quite a few paintings, especially altar pieces. Just to name a few of the pieces here, the left wall shows “Union of Earth and Water” (bottom, left), “Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee” (bottom, center), and “Bacchus” (bottom, right) (and I’m not exactly sure about that top one). Fun fact: Rubens woke up at 4am to start his work, and painted until 5pm. Wait, let me add an adverb: voluntarily! Oh, and on top of being a renowned painter, he was also a political diplomat later in his career. And here I struggle to sometimes write one APFY post after having slept 9 hours. This dude was disciplined. Thanks a bunch for sending me this cool postcard!