Caroline villers fellowship lecture

Rubens in The Courtauld Collection, 1608-12

Thursday, 28 October 2010

6.00pm, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Clare Richardson & Kate Stonor (Caroline Villers Research Fellows 2010-11, The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Aviva Burnstock

In 2009-10 Clare Richardson and Kate Stonor undertook the restoration of The Courtauld Gallery’s Rubens, Moses and the Brazen Serpent. Their research as Caroline Villers Fellows is stimulated by the technical findings brought to light by the treatment. The painting has long been recognised as a substantially altered work, with its change from an arched top composition to a rectangular format visible to the naked eye. The status of these extensions appears to have varied over the years, perhaps due to their uneven quality when compared with the central figures. The condition of the painting has further obscured discussions as to the level of finish, and whether it should properly be considered a large-scale modello, rather than a finished painting. However, it is clear that the painting was begun as part of a commission. This commission is not documented and must have been abandoned, perhaps as Rubens became increasingly busy working on The Elevation of the Cross. This research hopes to shed light on the status and context of The Courtauld’s important early Rubens through an in-depth technical study of a small group of works by Rubens in London collections dating from 1609-1612. The talk will focus on the findings to date.

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