For the first time in 26 years, a brand new space has opened at the National Gallery. And it’s bringing two seventeenth-century heavyweights together: Rubens and Rembrandt.
The unassumingly named Gallery B frees up an extra 200 square metres of exhibiting space on the ground floor of the building. It also means that next-door Gallery A, previously only open on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays, is now open the whole time. The idea behind the new space is that it gives the National Gallery’s curators a chance to have a bit of fun with their displays, which was what they’re doing with this cute little matchmaker of a show.
Although the lives of Rubens and Rembrandt overlapped, there’s no evidence they ever crossed paths. But Rembrandt was by all accounts a huge Rubens fan, and even owned one of his paintings. (Although to be fair, they would have been a lot cheaper in those days.) Also on display in the space is the work of painter Frank Auerbach, who’s very much alive, and presumably chuffed to be in such grand company.
In other art news, a new Anish Kapoor exhibition is coming to London.