Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace

September 6 2021

Image of Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace

Picture: RCT via AB

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've been meaning to point how magnificent the current exhibition at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace is. I visited Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace earlier in July and spent many more hours that I had planned enjoying each of the paintings on display.

Naturally, historic house settings are very evocative for the display of pictures. I will never tire of visiting places such as Windsor Castle, which is always full to the brim with the Queen's best Van Dycks and Royal Portraits. However, there's something rather special too when such masterpieces can be displayed in gallery conditions such as at the Queen's Gallery. This setting really encourages you to hone in on the sheer quality of the pictures assembled.

The arrangement into Dutch, Flemish and Italian schools works very well. There are walls of Rembrandts to admire as well as top pictures by Van Dyck, Rubens, Canaletto, Claude, Titian, Jan Steen and others.

I should recommend getting an early time slot, as you'll almost certainly have the galleries to yourself. It's also possible to get right up close to these pictures as many of them are glazed for protection. In contrast, it's impossible to see them in such proximity when they're hanging in the Palace. Take this opportunity while you can.

Finally, I was thinking that there are probably very few galleries in the world that would let you get so close to a Vermeer. It is even possible to read my favourite wisdom inscribed onto the case of the virginal:

MVSICA LETITIAE CO[ME]S MEDICINA DOLOR[VM] / Music is the companion of joy and the balm of sorrow.

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