Peter Paul Rubens’s indebtedness to the example of Michelangelo is widely acknowledged, but
scholars have rarely engaged how and to what ends Rubens emulated and appropriated the art of
the legendary Renaissance master. This lecture probes how in the 1610s Rubens engaged the art
of Michelangelo to forge an aesthetic of horror rooted in Neostoicism through repeated depiction
of torment and physical pain, especially of male figures.