Ninth Approach to Rubens ‘Het Steen’, 1636

To continue from where I left off, searching for Rubens in this work. Who is the witness within? Do we see from the point of view of the hunter, new ways of spying the land? I have always assumed that we stood as Rubens himself stood, I am surveying all that I have made and it is good. But given the height of the viewpoint, some twenty foot off the ground and our previous identification with the hunter and our nose to the ground, is it too fanciful to assume:
A: that we are being shown this land by a proud owner
B: that the person to whom we are showing it is in some way elevated, notice the centrality of our viewpoint, and yes I know viewpoints are usually central, but they can be skewed, think of most Degas paintings, ‘The Ballet Rehearsal on Stage’ for example, when the stage veers away to our right as though we were sitting in a box watching the young girls rehearse, in a similar manner to the Jockey Club member actually on stage left. That elevated, central viewpoint, and back to the personal sun. In other words is Rubens showing off his estate to a king? To those his diplomatic skills have flattered and who have presumably, in effect, paid for all this land and the house.

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