Newly Authenticated Rubens Heads to the Royal Academy

Peter Paul Rubens’s The Discovery of the Child Erichthonius (c. 1615)
Photo via Liechtenstein Princely Collections

A painting long thought to be a fake Rubens has been identified as the real deal by Nico Van Hout, a Rubens expert and curator at Antwerp’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Independent reports.

The piece, titled The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus (1610–1611), was languishing in a dark corner of the National Museum of Art Architecture and Design in Oslo when Hout first came across it. Declared a fake by Rubens scholar Julius Held in 1950, it had received little attention ever since.

Its fate is now about to change. Hout has included the piece in a large exhibition opening at London’s Royal Academy next January, which maps the Dutch painter’s legacy, influencing artists from Van Dyck to Cézanne.

“It was amazing when I saw it,” the curator told the Independent. “I’m convinced it’s genuine as are many of my colleagues. Otherwise I wouldn’t put it in the exhibition.”

Thought to have been painted in 1610 or 1611, the piece represents the abduction of the mythical Leucippides by twin brothers Castor and Pollux. It was the first time Rubens grappled with a theme to which he returned a decade later for a major piece now part of the Alte Pinakothek collection in Munich.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In