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Rubens. Pintor de bocetos, Museo del Prado

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Apr 8th, 2018. Artwork published in
April 2018
Rubens. Pintor de bocetos, Museo del Prado 1
Miguel Sanz. License: All Rights Reserved.

From April 10, the Museo del Prado will be presenting the exhibition Rubens. Painter of Sketches, offering “an analysis of Rubens as the most important painter of oil sketches in the history of European art.” The exhibition poster shows a detail from The Miracles of Saint Francis of Paola, one of the numerous stunning works by the Flemish artist, created around 1627–1628. The typeface is the distinguished DTL Fleischmann, a revival of types that also originated in the Low Countries (albeit a century later). What’s not to like?

Typophiles are hard to please. The baroque fourth letter is actually not a “cool swash E”, as Nina Stössinger points out. But what does the shady character signify here? Miguel Sanz wonders whether the exhibition shows works by RUbetNS. (Or rather RUByNS?) Can the impressive œuvre be explained by the fact that it was created by a duo, known as “Pieter Rub & Paul Ns”, as Frederik Berlaen suggests? Maybe the poster was designed in the Netherlands—the show will later travel to the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum—and it says RUBenNS, which is not that bad, is it? My guess is that this is the revenge of the ampersand, see this previous post featuring another creatively repurposed glyph.

Gracias to Miguel for sharing the pictures!

Rubens. Pintor de bocetos, Museo del Prado 2
Source: Miguel Sanz. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • DTL Fleischmann




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