#FridayPainting: Peter Paul Rubens “The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo”

Sir Peter Paul Rubens is one of the most important painters in European art history. He created 2,500 compositions and approximately 10,000 works of art: paintings, drawings, book illustrations and even tapestries.

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo, 1638

Rubens’s compositions reference classical and Christian history. His Baroque style accentuated movement, colour, and sensuality, all of which are found in “The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo.”

While I knew that Rubens was an incredibly versatile artist, I discovered that he was also a renowned diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.

Rubens is known for such works as “The Descent from the Cross,” “Wolf and Fox Hunt” and “The Garden of Love.” It seems that “The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo” is less known.

Who was Kallo? I have no idea.

When I viewed the painting on Wednesday with all its pomp and circumstance, I felt certain that a simply internet search would present the answer. Alas, the search continues. If anyone has any information on Kallo and why he was on a Triumphal Chariot, I would be most grateful.

The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo reside at The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

28 thoughts on “#FridayPainting: Peter Paul Rubens “The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo”

    1. So true, Resa!!! There are so many back stories that have back stories and on and on. It is like reading a book about several generations of family. You need to know what comes before so that you understand the present. It is a cycle of learning/understanding. The more you understand, the more there is to understand. And sometimes there are stories that will be forever lost in the folds of history. I agree completely with your thought – the further back we go, the less we can know.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the back stories of paintings which add so much meaning to the painting. I even wondered whether there was a Kallo in the Bible, given Rubens paintings of Christianity. Was there someone I missed? I never thought of Kallo being a place and a battle.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A very interesting painting! ! I have studied the top of the painting, I can not see where the top of the chariot ends–or maybe it doesn’t end but goes past the top! ! I read the comments and found out a little about the artist! The Artist was very talented in many different ways. Very impressive that he was knighted by both England and Spain! ! This is one of the paintings featured in our ART CALENDAR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t the 2022 Art Calendar remarkable. Every year, the creators of this art calendar find new paintings to feature. Given that Rubens painted over 10,000 and there are many other artists that have graced our world, it seems that we will have many years of art calendars full of fresh paintings.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. What I find interesting, Marina is that there are many website that offer a print of The Triumphal Chariot of Kallo for sale, but the story behind the painting and the artist was missing. Your posts always bring out the story! Many thanks and hugs coming back your way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s what I found: “In June 1638, Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand defeated the Dutch near Kallo (on the left bank of the Scheldt in Antwerp) and then, a few days later, he brought the French to their knees at St Omaars (now Saint-Omer). In commemoration of these events, Antwerp’s city council decided to add a ‘float’ in the annual Antwerp Ommegang or procession, and Rubens was commissioned to paint the ‘chariot’ to celebrate the first of the two victories.”
    So Kallo is a place 😄

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh Elisabeth – this is fabulous information. Many thanks for solving the mystery of the Chariot of Kallo. I tried Greek, Norse and Roman mythology to no avail. I just found the “Battle of Kallo.” I continue to learn and learn and learn.

      Liked by 4 people

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