In an article in today’s Huffington Post, author Mark Lamster explains how President Obama might take a cue from Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. The two have more in common than one may realize: “Though the fact is largely forgotten today, Rubens had a distinguished second career as a diplomat and covert agent.” He spent most of his diplomatic career working to broker an end the Eighty Years War.
The comparisons between the two diplomats abound. Lamster writes, “Long before the idea became a commonplace, Rubens understood that the interests of the entire international community were bound together. He understood the Europe of his day not as an assemblage of autonomous states, but as a ‘chain of confederations’ united by the bonds of religion, geography, blood, history, and commerce. Today, that metaphor has become a physical reality. The European Union, based in the artist’s Belgian homeland, seems even in its imperfections a fulfillment of his vision of a continent at peace, administered by policy makers at least theoretically accountable for their actions.”
Click here to read the full article. You can also visit the author’s website and if you’re in NYC, be sure to catch his reading at The Half King next Monday, October 26th. See why the Daily Beast has named Master of Shadows a “Hot Read” for the week!