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ongoing Rubens to Genoa

The show

Palazzo Ducale in Genoa hosts, from 6 October 2022 to 22 January 2023 , an extraordinary exhibition to tell the greatness of Peter Paul Rubens and his relationship with the city .

Rubens in Genoa is produced by the Municipality of Genoa with Palazzo Ducale Foundation for Culture and Electa , and was born on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the publication in Antwerp of the famous volume by Pietro Paolo Rubens, Palazzi di Genova (1622).

The curatorship is by Nils Büttner, lecturer at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and Chairman of the Centrum Rubenianum in Antwerp, and Anna Orlando, independent scholar from Genoa, co-curator of the exhibition The Age of Rubens held at the Doge's Palace in 2004.

Rubens stayed in Genoa on several occasions between 1600 and 1607 , also visiting it in the wake of the Duke of Mantua , Vincenzo I Gonzaga , where he held the role of court painter. In this way he was able to have direct and in some cases very close relations with the richest and most influential aristocrats of the city oligarchy.

Inside Rubens in Genoa stand out over twenty paintings by Rubens , coming from European and Italian museums and collections which, added to those already present in the city, reach a number like there had not been in Genoa since the end of the eighteenth century; since, that is, the crisis of the aristocracy with the repercussions of the French Revolution gave rise to an inexorable diaspora of masterpieces towards the collections of the world.

Starting from the Rubensian nucleus, the story of the cultural and artistic context of the city in the epoch of its greatest splendor is completed by paintings by the authors that Rubens certainly saw and studied ( Tintoretto and Luca Cambiaso ); whom he met in Italy and in particular in Genoa during his stay ( Frans Pourbus the Younger, Sofonisba Anguissola, Bernardo Castello and Aurelio Lomi, present in the exhibition with a painting from the Doria Pamphilj Collection ), or with whom he collaborated (Jan Wildens and Frans Snyders ).

With Rubens , and through what he saw and knew, the history of the Republic of Genoa at the height of its power is told at the Palazzo Ducale when, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, it experienced a period of singular vivacity not only economic and financial, but also cultural and artistic.

Among the works returning to Genoa, created by Rubens on commission of the wealthiest and most powerful among the Genoese of the time, we can mention: the Portrait of Violante Maria Spinola Serra of the Faringdon Collection Trust, a hitherto unnamed lady, who thanks to her studies in preparation for the exhibition is now recognizable. The San Sebastiano , coming from a European private collection and never exhibited in Italy, which, thanks to an important documentary discovery, can now refer to the commission of the famous leader Ambrogio Spinola. Also exhibited for the first time in Italy is the youthful Self-portrait, with a Rubens of about twenty-seven, which a private collector offered as a long-term loan to the Rubenshuis in Antwerp and which exceptionally returns to the country where it was executed, around 1604.


Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 9
16123 Genoa


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