Art Talk: Rembrandt, Van Dyk, Gainsborough
Kenwood House is one of those grand estate houses popular with tourists who want to see Downton Abbey–style houses. It’s currently closed while undergoing renovations. I’m sure that’s a huge disappointment for any tourists travelling to England this summer who were hoping to pay it a visit.
For me, not so much, because its closure gave Kenwood House a reason to send its artwork on tour to the United States. And ― talk about timing ― my friends and I got to see that artwork during our two days in Seattle, only days before the exhibition was due to close.
Rembrandt, Van Dyk, Gainsborough: The Treasures of the Kenwood House, London consists of 48 remarkable works of art. In addition to the Dutch masters and the paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, the exhibition also includes works by Joshua Reynolds and J.M.W. Turner.
“This show puts the Vancouver Art Gallery to shame,” one of my friends whispered to me as we bumped into each other in one of the gallery rooms. I nodded in agreement, awestruck. I don’t often get to see art of this calibre.
The Kenwood House exhibition was paired with a second exhibition entitled European Masters: The Treasures of Seattle, which included works by Eugène Delacroix, Frans Hals, and others, all borrowed from local private collections. I thought the two companion exhibitions complemented each other well.
Rembrandt, Van Dyk, Gainsborough: The Treasures of the Kenwood House, London has moved on to the Arkansas Art Center, my readers in Little Rock will be happy to hear. As for me, I’ve added Kenwood House to my list of art galleries to visit the next time in London. The collection is worth a second look.