Did large-scale projects serve as career stepping stone for the participating painters in the age of
Rubens? This question focuses on the decoration program for the Joyous Entry of the Cardinal-
Infant Ferdinand of Spain in Antwerp (1635) (Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi) and the decorations for
the King of Spain’s hunting lodge near Madrid, the Torre de la Parada (1636–1638).
The underlying question is how painters could build a career despite Rubens’s dominance. Three
participating ‘secondary artists’, Theodoor van Thulden (1606–1669), Jan Cossiers (1600–1671),
and Jan van den Hoecke (1611–1651) will be analyzed. Previous research on Van Thulden showed
that his career got a boost after the project(s) and his social reputation and financial situation
The painters’ artistic and socio-economic contribution, their oeuvre and career, and the
classification of their project contribution to their oeuvre and career will be examined. This can tell us if the project(s) served as career boost. Comparing other related large-scale projects and
possible career strategies as well as Rubens’s role in the painters’ career, this Ph.D. project will
provide a new description of the Antwerp art scene and its underlying principles in the age of
Rubens. This topic has not yet been coherently posed in art historical research before and neither
has much research been conducted on the projects or on the participating painters, detached from
the typical Rubens-centric perspective.