Below is our preview, which explains the background of the show. Click here to read our Rubens and His Legacy review.
You may know him for his voluptuous nudes; but ‘the prince of painters’, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, was also a diplomat, a collector and a humanist scholar. An ambitious new exhibition of Rubens in London aims to uncover the extent of his influence over 400 years; from Gainsborough to Van Gogh, Delacroix to Picasso.
A champion of the flamboyant Baroque style of painting that emphasised movement, colour and sensuality in the 17th century; Rubens’s blazing, dramatic scenes and his lifelike characterisation made him one of the most famous artists of the time. Knighted by both the King Philip of Spain and England’s Charles II for his diplomatic services, Rubens was quite the mover and shaker of society.
Rubens and His legacy: Royal Academy UK exhibition
Royal Academy curator, Arturo Galansino, has collaborated with Nico van Hout, Rubens Specialist at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, for this exhibition. And together, they’ve left no stone unturned…
The exhibition is divided into Rubens’s key interests - religious paintings, erotic scenes, and mythology. Exploring painter Rubens miraculous influence through the lenses of power, lust, poetry, violence, compassion and elegance; the Royal Academy, UK proves why Rubens was the painter of humanity, or as Delacroix more succinctly noted, the ‘Homer of painting’. And while some of the famous oil paintings of enormous scale, like the Rubens Louvre series on the life of Marie de Médici (1621), the key Rubens National Gallery painting of Samson and Delilah (1609-10) or the Rubens Whitehall ceiling (1628-30), could not be brought to the Royal Academy, Burlington House gallery, there are some fascinating Rubens drawings to see.
Rubens Royal Academy London exhibition 2015 highlights
The comparison between the Rubens old masters with works by Reynolds, Constable and Gainsborough is particularly illuminating, and demonstrates how each painter sought inspiration from Rubens’s technique and flair. Look out also for the section devoted to hunting, where battles and abduction scenes abound alongside greats such as Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt (1616). Other famous works on display include the Rubens Garden of Love (1633), where bulbous cherubs and amorous couples frolic under the watchful eye of the goddess Juno. And of course the Rubens crucifixion scenes and Rubens Descent From the Cross where human anguish is made overtly physical.
|What||Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne, Royal Academy|
|Where||Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
24 Jan 15 – 10 Apr 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Price||££16.50 with donation, £15 without|
|Website||Click here to book tickets|