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Peter-Paul Rubens & Jan I Brueghel

the Virgin and the Child Jesus in the middle of a garland of flowers

1616-1617

Prefer synergy to rivalry

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Flemish painters Peter-Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder - son of the great Pieter Brueghel - were both extremely renowned in Antwerp. Their talent was the pride of their country and the greatest patrons of Europe, from Roman cardinals to the kings of France and Austria, collected their works with passion. All the conditions were met for the birth of an artistic and commercial rivalry between the two artists.

However, this Virgin and Child tells us a completely different scenario since it is a work produced "  with four hands  », illustrating the specific talents of the two painters. While Brueghel was a great specialist in still life and floral painting, Rubens was famous for his religious and mythological works. In this composition, everyone has therefore brought their own know-how without either of the two elements, the central medallion (made by Rubens) or the garland of flowers (signed Brueghel), taking on more importance than the other. .

What we can take away:

When a person - or a company - develops an activity close to ours, we perceive this similarity as  a vector  of competition. But if we focus on what sets us apart – like the uniqueness of our talents  respective  –, so the spirit of competition  fades away to reveal  the potential for complementarity. It is a question of putting our respective skills at the service of a common project, in an approach of humility and trust.

Related topic: Method
Related topic: Cooperation
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