Peter Paul Rubens, The Massacre of the Innocents (1610) The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. © 2018 Art Gallery of Ontario

After nearly three years of planning and drawing on loans from museums across Europe and North America, Early Rubens, an exhibition dedicated to works by theFlemish master Peter Paul Rubens from the years 1609 to 1621, opened at Torontos Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) this weekend (until 5 January 2020).

“Its extraordinary to have this exhibition here in Toronto,” said the shows co-curator Sasha Suda, now the director and CEO of Canadas National Gallery, at a press launch earlier in the week. “Rubens was a radical, incredibly risk-taking, convinced that he could change the world,” she added.

Suda also touched on Rubenss virtuosity, pausing during a tour of the show in front of one piece to say: “You can see how quickly his hand is moving.” Working fast and sizeably had a lot to do with the artists success, according to Kirk Nickel, the shows other co-curator, from the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco, where the show will travel next.

Around 30 large-scale paintings are on view, including two from the AGOs collection, such as The Massacre of the Innocents, which Suda described as “the capstone of the show”. Several of the works will be making their debuts in North America, with loans coming from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Londons British Museum, Washington, DCs National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Museum. The AGOs director Stephan Jost revealed during the preview of the show that “every single piece was a negotiation”.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Daniel in the Lions' Den (around 1614/1616) Courtesy of the Legion oRead More – Source