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Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:12

Paintings and Tapestries by Peter Paul Rubens Go on View at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Peter Paul Rubens' 'The Triumph of the Eucharist.' Peter Paul Rubens' 'The Triumph of the Eucharist.' Museo del Prado

An exhibition with the formidable title "Spectacular Rubens: The Triumph of the Eucharist" opened this week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The show comes to us from the Prado Museum in Madrid by way of the Getty in Los Angeles. It consists of four huge 17th-century tapestries along with the small (very small by comparison) paintings by Rubens that served as their designs, plus assorted other things that I'll mention later. Houston is the last stop before everything is shipped back to the owners, mostly in Madrid, perhaps never to travel again, almost certainly not all together.

The tapestries, only four of a full series that numbers 20, are from Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (Convent of the Barefoot Royals) in Madrid, and they are indeed spectacular, as the title says -- large enough to cover walls many people high, woven by some of the finest tapestry factories of their day and of a quality seldom equaled.

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