Rubens was the most resourceful and significant Baroque artist in northern Europe in the 17th century. Highly gifted and internationally oriented, the Flemish artist received commissions from almost all of Europe's major courts. His art blends the High Renaissance of Italy, with which he was familiar from an eight-year stay on the Italian peninsula, with northern realism. Having a phenomenal knowledge of classical antiquity, he was the prototype of the intellectual artist. International diplomat, confidence businessman, dedicated Catholic, fluent in six languages; Rubens was always first a painter. Few artists have been capable of transforming such a vast variety of influences into a style utterly new and original. Frans Snyders, Jacob Jordaens, and Anthony van Dyck each assisted him. Rubens's impact was immediate, international, and long lasting. The works of Thomas Gainsborough and Eugene Delacroix, among others, testify to his posthumous influence.