The Wallace Collection museum in London, in cooperation with The National Gallery, organised a temporary exhibition with two Rubens’ landscape paintings from his mature period: “Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes” (Wallace Collection’s webpage on the exhibition).
For the first time in over two centuries, this exhibition reunited The Rainbow Landscape and A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning. Both companion paintings depict the slightly idealised landscape around Het Steen, Ruben’s countryside manor, where he retired in his later years with his young family.
The countryside depicted is rich and warm, projecting an impression of abundance and happiness. I believe this was a reflection of his inner happiness, in a time where he was free to paint for his own enjoyment rather than for commission, living the good life together with his young wife and newly-born children. On the contrary, his homeland itself was going through a period of conflict and war.
The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the art collections brought together by the first four marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the likely illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess. These outstanding collections were bequeathed to the British nation by Lady Wallace, Sir Richard’s widow, in 1897. The museum hosts 18th century French art, many important 17th and 19th century paintings, medieval and Renaissance works of art and one of the finest collections of princely arms and armour in Britain.
We booked the entrance for the opening time and walked from home to the museum, then leisurely visited the rooms, including a nice break at their cafeteria where I enjoyed an exquisite green tea.
We started with Rubens’ exhibition, which was closing today, and then proceeded to the rooms hosting the permanent collections.
There is a lot to see, with many masterpieces and collections of various interests, as well as the house itself with many of its original interiors. We enjoyed it very much and will visit again to learn more about the artefacts.
If you happen to be in London, I warmly recommend a visit to The Wallace Collection, and a break at their cafeteria to enjoy some good food or a drink.
(disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post)