The Massacre of the Innocents, an early masterpiece by Rubens, will go on show at the Rubens House Museum in September. The monumental work is lent by the Art Gallery of Ontario for Antwerp Baroque, a city-wide cultural festival dedicated to Rubens. The painting will be on display in Rubens’s studio from 26 September 2018 to 4 March 2019. After its European visit, the painting travels to San Francisco where it will be included in the large-scale Rubens exhibition that is jointly organized by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Massacre of the Innocents was only attributed to Rubens in 2001 after being falsely attributed to minor artists since the eighteenth century. It was sold to Canadian collector Ken Thomson at a London auction for 49,5 million GBP setting a new auction record for an Old Master painting. In 2008 the work was given to the Art Gallery of Ontario where it had not left the gallery until now.
Sasha Suda, Curator of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario, said “The prospect of seeing The Massacre of the Innocents displayed in Peter Paul Rubens’s studio, where it was painted, is exhilarating. It will transport Antwerp audiences and Rubens scholars back in time, inspiring important conversations about this artist’s life and ambition. This loan to the Rubens House, where scholars of Flemish painting gather across Rubens’s gardens at the Rubenianum research center, marks a significant step towards better understanding and situating this singular work in the artist’s oeuvre.”
Also see Heading home: early Rubens masterpiece returns to the artist’s Antwerp studio for the first time at The Art Newpaper website (10 August 2018).