“Rubens and his Legacy”

This major new exhibition will set out to show the artistic impact of Peter Paul Rubens on four centuries of European art history. Few painters have inspired fellow artists over such a long period. The Royal Academy exhibition will display more than 160 works, showing how the Flemish master influenced the work of some of the biggest names to have followed him, including Jean-Antoine Watteau, Eugène Delacroix, JMW Turner, Édouard Manet and Pablo Picasso.

Rubens, best known for his fleshy nude women, also embraced a wider array of subjects, from religious and mythological scenes to landscapes and portraits. The exhibition will cover each of these areas by examining six themes; power, lust, compassion, elegance, poetry and violence.

The exhibition also includes a recent discovery of a genuine work, which had been written off as a fake for six decades. Nico van Hout, curator of the exhibition, discovered the small panel titled ‘The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus’ on a chance trip to the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo and was convinced it was by Rubens. The work was declared a fake by eminent Rubens scholar Julius Held in 1950 and no one had questioned it since. It is now believed to have been painted in 1610 or 1611 and is the first time Rubens covered the subject matter he returned to less than a decade later in the painting of the same name that hangs in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.

This is set to be one of the biggest spectacles of 2015 and is an unprecedented opportunity to see masterpieces by Rubens side by side with the work of his artistic heirs.

at the Royal Academy of Arts, on a Friday at the end of March , Members only

Please use this link to download the Members’ application form for this event