The Flemish baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was the most renowned northern European artist of his day, and is now widely recognized as one of the foremost painters in Western art history. By completing the fusion of the realistic tradition of Flemish painting with the imaginative freedom and classical themes of Italian Renaissance painting, he fundamentally revitalized and redirected northern European painting. Most accounts of Peter Paul Rubens represent the artist in his cosmopolitan European setting, in line with his demonstrable interests and ambitions. Although such interpretations are typically attentive to the ways in which political, socioeconomic and cultural circumstances and traditions in the Netherlands affected his persona and work, the interaction between Netherlandish contingencies and translocal ambition has rarely been the sustained object of Ruben's studies. In Dutch and English.