Re-discovered: Rubens' portrait of his daughter

March 24 2015

Image of Re-discovered: Rubens' portrait of his daughter

Picture: Rubenshuis

Regular readers may remember the story of the possible Rubens 'sleeper', which the Metropolitan Museum deaccessioned as a copy in 2013. Now, the picture has once again been accepted as a Rubens - which it clearly is - and it'll soon go on display at an exhibition of Rubens's family portraits at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp. The sitter is Rubens' daughter, Clara Serena. The photo above shows the picture post-conservation. Below, you can see the painting as it appeared at Sotheby's in New York.

I've written a piece for The Art Newspaper looking at the sale and reattribution of the painting. Is this the greatest deaccessioning blunder of recent times?

The exhibition opens in Antwerp on 28th March. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the show - and it's probably the best Rubens exhibition I've yet seen. Rubens' portraiture is usually at its best when he's painting friends and family, and in this show we see example after example of Rubens' finest work. There are loans from all over (the Hermitage, the Royal Collection etc.). There are seven self-portraits alone. And all, magically, on display in the house where Rubens lived, and where many of them were painted. Do exhibitions get much better than that?

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