Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rubens and His Legacy: From Van Dyck to Cezanne

Peter Paul Rubens 
The Triumph of Henri IV, 1630

Oil on panel, 49.5 x 83.5 cm 
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.187)Photo c. 2013. Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource / Scala, Florence 

The Royal Academy of Arts will present 24 January 2015 to 10 April 2015 the first major exhibition in the UK to examine Rubens’ influence on art history. Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne is an exploration of the artistic legacy of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the most influential of Flemish painters. The exhibition will bring together masterpieces by Rubens and the artists who were inspired by him, during his lifetime and up until the twentieth century, including Van Dyck, Watteau, Turner and Delacroix, as well as Manet, Cézanne, Renoir, Klimt and Picasso. Rubens and His Legacy will present over 160 works, comprising paintings, drawings and prints drawn from some of the finest collections world-wide. Each work has been carefully considered for its significance to Rubens’ legacy. Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cézanne has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (KMSKA) and BOZAR (Centre for Fine Arts), Brussels. 

From an excellent preview: (images added)


Daniel in the Lion’s Den 
you can feel the eye-rolling terror of the young prophet as the big cats stalk around him; in

the Raising of the Cross
the sheer muscular effort of the men hoisting the Saviour aloft powers the image with a remorseless force. It’s not so much that nothing is left to the imagination: you simply aren’t given the option of not getting the message. Rubens’s patrons were some of the most powerful people of the age, but the child or illiterate beggar at the back of the cathedral was intended to feel the impact at a hundred metres away. And you can’t doubt that they did.