'Copy/Paint'

08.03.13 - 01.09.13

This exhibition focuses on how Rubens's workshop operated. Based on two portraits (of one and the same individual, Michiel Ophovius) "Copy/Paint" reveals a bit more about workshop practice.

In Rubens's time there was considerable demand for portraits of important persons. So the "multiplication" of portraits was standard workshop practice.

 

Whodunnit?

It is no secret that many of Rubens's works exist in several versions. However, sometimes it is not clear how much of the painting is Rubens's own merit and how much of the work can be attributed to his colleagues and the assistants in his studio. Another important question that arises is which of the paintings is the original and which the copy?

It is often quite difficult to ascertain which version was painted first. This is especially true in the case of portraits. "Copy/Paint" gives you the opportunity to compare two versions of the portrait of Michiel van Ophoven - "Ophovius" in Latin. Two, the best versions, are exhibited together in the Rubens House for the very first time. One work belongs to the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The other is from the Rubens House's collection.

The comparison of the two versions gives an insight into seventeenth-century ideas about "an original" versus "a copy".  Concepts which have quite a different connotation in today's fast-paced "copy/paste" culture.