Collection: Triumph of the Church

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Peter Paul Rubens – c. 1625

In The Triumph of the Church, the largest tapestry in scale and probably the one conceived as the focal point of the series, the figure of Ecclesia holds a gleaming monstrance while sitting atop a festooned and bejeweled chariot victoriously trampling over evil. The scene showcases Rubens’ vast knowledge of triumphal iconography, from Classical elements to those of his contemporaries. Despite the dense arrangement and complex story within The Triumph of the Church, the figures move rhythmically and gracefully with and against each other and the flanking Solomonic columns, the S-curved, twisting columns that enjoyed a revival in Baroque art and architecture. Thus, the composition creates a visual harmony that is deliberately disrupted only by the flailing body of the ass-eared figure of Ignorance caught under the chariot’s gilded wheels and by the figure of Blindness being led away, bound with rope.