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New Rubens Unveiled at Chiswick House
A recently discovered oil sketch by Rubens was unveiled at Chiswick House.A recently discovered oil sketch by Rubens was unveiled at Chiswick House as part of an extensive furnishing programme that has been taking place at the property over the last three years. The ‘Assumption of the Virgin’ has never been displayed in public before and is one of 11 old master paintings that have been installed in the Red Velvet Room at the beginning of the 2006 season.
This little, colourful and richly painted image depicts the lower half of an altarpiece and stylistically dates to circa 1608. This composition was very popular with Rubens, however the sketch is thought to be a much earlier work than other similar paintings, including a fully finished preparatory sketch (modello) in the Royal Collection. The painting was acquired recently by a private collector and research undertaken by art historian, Christopher Wright, has meant that it is now attributed to Rubens. The masterpiece has been loaned to English Heritage and will be on display for at least the next three years.
As well as the Rubens, the new group of paintings also features two gem-like paintings on copper by Hans Rottenhammer (1564-1625), a portrait of King James I by John Decritz, a portrait of Pope Bentiivolo after Van Dyck, a mythological scene Allegory of Peace and War by Quellinus and a Head of a Man by Jacob Jordaens. All the works of art have been carefully chosen to mirror the type of paintings that would have adorned the walls of this wonderful property when it was owned by Burlington.
There are currently 38 new paintings on display, which come from a mixture of sources including private and museum loans, two gifts and one acquisition. English Heritage plans to add further paintings and furniture that are appropriate for the period and which provide a historical match to Lord Burlington’s original home and collection.