Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Royalist Refugees

William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubens House 1648-1660
An EXHIBITION in Antwerp, 1 October to 31 December 2006

Following the death of the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, his grand house in Antwerp became the home of the English exiles, William and Margaret Cavendish (subsequently 1st Duke and Duchess of Newcastle). A new exhibition there sets the exile period of English royalists in a European cultural context, using the Cavendishes and their extensive patronage circles (which included René Descartes, John Dowland, Thomas Hobbes, Ben Jonson and Anthony van Dyck). The show brings together paintings, miniatures, books, manuscripts, jewellery and objects associated with the royalist exile. It thus illuminates the range of the Cavendishes‚ interests: horsemanship, literature, music, political philosophy and natural sciences. The exhibition venue is Rubens's own house, where the Cavendishes lived from 1648 to 1660, and where they entertained members of the exiled royalist community, including Charles II and his brother, the Duke of York.

Royalist Refugees has been co-curated by an international team: Ben van Beneden (Rubenshuis), Ursula Härting, Karen Hearn (Tate Britain), Lynn Hulse (Royal School of Needlework), Marika Keblusek (Leiden University), James Knowles (Keele University), Nora DePoorter (Rubenianum), Simon Stock (Sotheby‚s) and Lucy Worsley (Historic Royal Palaces).

Loans from private collections include items never previously exhibited. Among other lenders are the Royal Collection, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, British Museum, Tate, Mauritshuis, National Portrait Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland. An English-language catalogue Royalist Refugees: William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubens House 1648-1660, including essays by the curators and other scholars, is published by BAI, Schoten (ISBN: 90 85860148). A CD of music associated with the Cavendishes, Amorous in Music by the UK group Concordia, is also available.

The exhibition, at the Rubenshuis, 9-11 Wapper, Antwerp, runs until 31 December 2006.  It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Monday (also closed 1-2 November and 25-26 December).   Ticket prices: 7 Euros (5 Euros concessions). Pre-book by phone on 00 32 70 34 46 46, or online at www.ticketantwerpen.be


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