A collection of exclusive paintings from the Royal Collection, usually displayed in the staterooms of Buckingham Palace, will be relocated to the Queen’s gallery from December 2020. The collection will be open to the public.

THE PUBLIC RARELY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY THE COLLECTION

Residing in the palace’s Picture Gallery, only those who were invited to receptions or visitors of the annual Summer Opening of the palace (which has been cancelled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) have been able to admire the collection. 

The Picture Gallery was designed by the architect John Nash to display George IV’s collection of Dutch, Flemish and Italian Old Master paintings. The 65-piece collection, which about half of them were acquired by George IV, features works by Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, just to name a few.

Due to the palace undergoing a major £369 million renovation, the public is offered a one-off opportunity to enjoy these masterpieces in a year-long display. According to the surveyor of the Queen’s pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, the artwork will be seen for the first time in a “gallery context … as you would see them in a picture gallery instead of a palace.” This will be the first time that the artwork will be displayed in a gallery space.

THE COLLECTION FEATURES SIXTY-FIVE PIECES OF ARTWORK

The exhibition will feature one of the only 34 Vermeer paintings in existence, ‘Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman’. It is difficult to date Vermeer’s work, but the ‘Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman’ is believed to be painted during the 1660s.

Other masterpieces featured in the collection include Titian’s ‘Madonna and Child in a Landscape with Tobias and the Angel’. Ridolfi described the painting as “one of Titian’s exceptional works”. 

A part of the exhibition will be two Rembrandts, including ‘The Shipbuilder and his wife’, which is said to be the Queen’s favourite painting. The piece depicts a couple who were identified as Jan Rijcksen and his wife Griet Jans. He was a shareholder in the Dutch East India Company.

Anthony Van Dyke’s ‘Christ healing the paralytic’ was created by the brilliant 20-year-old around 1619 while working in Rubens’ studio.

Pallas Athene c. 1531-8 Parmigianino. Via Royal Collection Trust
Pallas Athene c. 1531-8 Parmigianino. Via Royal Collection Trust.

Visitors of the year-long exhibition will also have a chance to view portraits such as Frans Hals’ ‘Portrait of a Man’, Rembrandt’s ‘Agatha Bas’ and the spectacular portrait titled ‘Pallas Athene’ by Parmigianino.

Visitors are invited to examine the painting techniques that create emotion and realism.

INFORMATION ON VISITING THE EXHIBITION

‘Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace’ will be open to the public from 4th December, 2020 and will run through until January, 2022. You will be able to purchase tickets for the exhibition on the Royal Collection Trust website. Tickets are priced at £16.00 for adults. The exhibition is open every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

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