The new exhibition at the Royal Academy or Art, RUBENS AND HIS LEGACY has had poor reviews, deservedly as the links between Rubens and so many of the works shown is tenuous – ‘influences in art’ is a fashionable theme too often
Nevertheless, it was a glorious treat to see Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt. On a frivolous note: make a room, I say to designers, and use all the colours in this painting!
Rubens' heart warming Venus Frigida, sensual, despite its title, and his portrait of Maria Grimaldi and Dwarf.
I have often gazed up at it hung high at Kingston Lacy in its magnificent setting, but it was a joy to see this great portrait hung lower so that you clearly see Maria’s smile, the picture is enhanced by the stodgy Van Dyck of a Genoese Gentleman hung to the left.
As an adjunct to the exhibition, but not in the catalogue (why?) Jenny Saville has curated a room full of paintings – all worthwhile, but with the exception of Freud & Bacon & the lovely Jenny herself, tenuous. As an introduction on a huge partition, the smallest Picasso I have ever seen – Woman with Beret – painted over 78 years ago – exquisite and desirable.