Antwerp is currently preparing for Antwerp Baroque 2018. In June, two major artworks will supplement Antwerp’s Baroque offering, namely a Tintoretto that was formerly owned by David Bowie and a Rubens painting, which will return to the city after 220 years.
On 27 June, David Bowie’s Tintoretto will arrive in the Rubens House. In 2016, Bowie’s art collection was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London. While the pop icon almost exclusively collected modern art, he also owned a monumental altarpiece by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594), namely “St Catherine”. A private collector acquired this work by the Italian master at the auction, and decided to grant a long-term loan to the Rubens House. Both Rubens and Van Dyck admired Tintoretto. Thanks to this loan, the Rubens House can exhibit a work by a major Italian master painter for the first time. Italian masters such as Titian and Tintoretto played an important part in Rubens’s own collection.
In 1620, Antwerp’s mayor Nicolaas Rockox donated Rubens’s painting of “The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt” to St Charles Borromeo Church where it was installed above the altar.
After a series of peregrinations, the Metropolitan Museum acquired the painting in 1871. In 2012, St Charles Borromeo Church was able to acquire the work at an auction by Christie’s. After thorough restoration, the work will return to its original destination in St Charles Borromeo Church 220 years later.
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