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up to and including 27 April 2014

Under Rubens's Skin - Changes to the Portrait of a Woman

Sixty years after Rotterdam-based collector Willem van der Vorm purchased a portrait by the famous Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, the museum showed the secrets behind this painting of a lady with a hat and plunging neckline. Infrared and X-ray images provided the visitor with new insights into how the painting was made.

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the Rubens portrait. We do not know, for example, the identity of the woman. Furthermore, it is clear that the painting has been altered in numerous places. What did the woman look like originally? What has been changed, when, by whom, and why? And which parts were actually painted by Rubens himself? His large workshop in Antwerp employed numerous assistants, who did much of the work for him.