Peter Paul Rubens, Artist-Diplomat

He was the antithesis of the starving artist image that people will usually associate with. Back then Rubens was hired to paint portraits and murals for nobility which means he hung out with kings and queens, princes & princesses-like, ALOT. When you paint a portrait you sit with the sitter for like a thousand of hours. During these hours, I’m sure they talked. They became friends.

With this special position in life, he became a diplomat, moonlighting for the rulers of Spain and the Netherlands. The Netherlands was run by Spain but his early education was in Italy. England became important in negotiations with Spain and those were accomplished thru one certain artist in Holland, the painter Peter Paul Rubens. This was in the 1600’s.

He was key in many dealings between European countries. These were peacefully procured via this artist-diplomat. I believe his talents were as high in social skills and worldly matters as with painting. Rubens knew how power was wielded. He knew how to direct their attention.

He, himself was a powerful man. Rubens was an employer of studio artists that helped him produce his work under his close direction. They helped him finish decades’ worth of paintings that he produced for his market. He knew how to delegate. He became wealthy and highly respected by many people, by involving many people.

As you may already know, I’m the President of the Goldfield Chamber of Commerce. Also, I want to be a well known artist. I’m getting there; Google me.

Anyhoo, for some reason, people assume that artists are not business men. But I want to ask the members of our Chamber, “Would you like to have a well known artist living in your town? Would you like to have that artist as your Chamber President again some day?”

By observation, I would like to say I’m a man like Rubens was, though, certainly a man of my times–I stir shit up. I know how people operate and have, myself, succeeded in negotiations with many of them. During my tenure, so far, Goldfield has gained more press than it has.. well, in a long time. Tonight should be a very fun meeting. I have a specific vision for this town and they’re all gonna’ like it as it comes to fruition. Tonight, I show them how I delegate.

(Wall Street Journal)  “The Art of Diplomacy” -A new book paints Rubens as a crafty negotiator of peace among warring European kings


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