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RAISING OF THE CROSS Triptych Peter Paul Rubens 3 Silver Coin Set 1$ 2$ Niue 2012


Amazing triptych coins represents 'The Raising of the Cross' housed in theat the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium, painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. Made of silver 925 and issued by Niue to commemorate 400 years from the final realization of the triptych. Issued with extremely low mintage of 500 pcs.

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Sir Peter Paul Rubens
Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640), was a Flemish Baroque Painter, and a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality.
He is well-known for his Altarpieces, portraits, landscapes and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar, art collector, and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England.

The Raising of the Cross was painted in 1609-1610, when Rubens himself was about the age of the martyred Christ. Until 1794, this colossal work (central panel: 460 x 340 cm, side panels: 460 x 150 cm) was part of the high altar of the St Walburgis Church, which was later demolished. Hauled away by Napoleon Bonaparte, the triptych was returned to Antwerp in 1815, where since 1816 it has had a central place in the Our Lady’s Cathedral. In The raising of the cross, Rubens introduced baroque art in the Netherlands after an eight year stay in Italy. The whirling strength, the impelling dynamism that characterize this masterpiece full of drama and pathos are striking. Nevertheless the whole presentation appears coherent and balanced.
The diagonal composition of the central panel, with nine assistant executioners who act in unison, exerting their intensely earthly, carnal strength to raise the cross with the pale Christ, possesses a gruesome beauty. Here, Rubens has set down the raising of the cross, which until that time had scarcely appeared in the visual arts, in an unprecedentedly expressive, almost tempestuous manner.
This relates to Roman-Catholic self-confidence, which was regained during the Counterreformation.
The influence of Italian art is immediately recognizable in Ruben’s Michelangelesque, heroically strong, muscular bodies. His figures release tremendous power, pulling, lifting and straining to the edge of their ability raising the cross.
Dramatic tension rises with the immediacy of the moment.
High contrast lighting dramatically focuses on the central figure of Jesus.

On the left panel, John and Mary (above) observe the Disconcerting event with a number of mourning women.
On the right panel, a mounted Roman commander directs the crucifixion. In the background, the two thieves who are to die With Christ can be seen: while one thief is being undressed, the other has already been crucified.

  • CountryNiue
  • Year2012
  • Face Value1 Dollar, 2 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)62.2 (2 oz)
  • Size (mm)17.5 x 35, 35 x 35
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
  • Set (pcs)3
This coin depicts "The Raising of the Cross", a masterpiece of painter "Rubens". The work shows the clear influence of Italian Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Caravaggio, Tintoretto, and Michelangelo. The central panel illustrates a tension between the multitude of finely muscled men attempting to lift the cross and the seemingly unbearable weight of Christ on the cross. Christ cuts across the central panel in a diagonal, stylistically akin to Caravaggio's Entombment where both descent and ascent are in play at a key moment. Motion, space and time are illustrated along with the struggle to upright the cross. Rubens uses dynamic color and chiaroscuro boldly, a style that would become more subtle with time. The reverse of each coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II profile. The three coins are housed in an elegant wooden box with an illustrative book.