The second display as part of the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Making Discoveries series will examine closely the ideas and methods of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. 

Venus, Mars and Cupid, probably early to mid-1630s Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish. (c)Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery. 

Focusing mainly on the changes that the artist made to his Venus,Mars and cupid painting (c.1635), this new display will also feature a life size x-ray displayed on a lightbox and combines the work’s past and present states.

Explaining more about the x-ray, Dr Xavier Bray said: “X-Rays of paintingd are normally kept within a museum’s conservation department for the scrutiny of a select few. Now the public will be able to see beneath the surface of Venus,Mars and Cupid and better appreciate the challenges Rubens was confronted with when devising his composition.”

There will also be an ipad available in the gallery for visitors to explore other works by Rubens from the collection in more depth.

Rubens’ Ghost  is the second in a series which focuses on Dutch and Flemish Masterpieces, which opened with Iam Van Dyke. The series showcases the work of four major artists and brings together recent historical and scientific research and discoveries to celebrate the processes that these artists used.

Following Ruben’s Ghost, the next display in the series will be Dou in Harmony, which will run at the gallery from the 5th July to the 6th November, reuniting the artist’s only two versions of women playing clavichords – last displayed together in 1665.

Rubens’ Ghost opens at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 26th April and will be on display until the 3rd July. 


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