I have been a fan of Pieter Paul Rubens' work for most of my life. So you might think that visiting the Rubenshuis might be the fulfillment of a dream for me. Quite the opposite. While they have done a wonderful job, I am sure, of decorating the house to give a fascinating idea of what it was like when Rubens lived there, I found the whole experience irritating - partly because most of the rooms are small and you have to share them with one tour group after another.
The one part of the house that I really liked was Rubens studio, the largest room in the house. I sat on a couch in the middle and enjoyed taking in the selection of large paintings displayed there. That was the culmination of the tour of the house I suppose. Then it was back into the cramped hallways, which I got through as quickly as possible so I get out into the open spaces and breathe again. Disappointing, for sure, although I don't know how it could be otherwise given the circumstances.
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