In full panoply, richly detailed, Peter Paul Rubens is presented with political, diplomatic and artistic backgrounds for a full life. Handsome, shrewd, robust, is not, for everyone, a particularly appealing figure. But his life gives an opportunity for a rich tapestry of the Low Country (Antwerp was his native town), of Italy, where he want for further study, of the life of a successful young artist, reaping popularity in many courts, Paris, Spain, the Regents of the Netherlands. Two marriages, -- one with housewifely, richly dowered Isabella Brant, whom he loved devotedly; after her death, with a girl of in, vain, spoiled, beautiful, and -- in his late years -- a coquette. His contemporaries, Breughel, van Dyck, Velasquez and others. Fictionized lives of artists are not very numerous, and this should appeal to that group. Sure of a good critical reception though somewhat overdone for popular reception.