CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Vorstelijke vluchtelingen William en Margaret Cavendish, 1648-1660

Royalist refugees: William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubenshuis (1648-1660) Exhibition: 1 October - 31 December 2006

Francesco Fanelli, Charles, Prince of Wales, 1640. Private collection

Francesco Fanelli
Charles, prince of Wales, 1640
Private collection

Museum information

William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1593-1676) was a writer, a poet and patron, an expert in horsemanship and the use of arms, but also a man actively interested in architecture, science, and music. During the Civil War Cavendish was the commander of the royal armies in the north until his defeat at the battle of Marston Moor, following which he withdrew to the Continent. With his second wife, Margaret, the Duke lodged for the greater part of his exile in the Rubenshuis, as it is now called. Here in 1658 he published La MĂ©thode et Invention Nouvelle de Dresser les Chevaux, the richly illustrated volume was to have a significant impact on the subsequent practice of horsemanship.

As well as the chance to see major paintings by Van Dyck and Peter Lely, the exhibition reflects the Cavendishes’ extraordinarily wide interests, and brings together many previously unseen items from English private collections, including memorabilia of the executed King Charles I, miniatures, jewellery, and sculpture. It offers a unique recreation of a fascinating episode in the cultural history of both Antwerp and England and explores how these royalist refugees survived exile by creating a new home for themselves in Rubens’s former house.


Vorstelijke vluchtelingen: William en Margaret Cavendish in het Rubenshuis, 1648-1660
Ben van Beneden and Nora De Poorter, with contributions by Ursula HĂ€rting, Karen Hearn, Lynn Hulse, Marika Keblusek, James Knowles, Timothy Raylor, Simon Stock, Ilja van Damme and Lucy Worsley, entries by the above and by Diana Scarisbrick, LĂ©on Lock and Stuart Huntley
Catalogue of an exhibition held in 2006 in Antwerp (Rubenshuis)
264 pp., 27 x 21 cm., hardbound
Antwerp (Rubenshuis and Rubenianum) 2006
ISBN 90-8586 013 X
Nominated for the 2007 Berger Prize for British Art History. See CODART News item