The Friday Special – “A Truly Immersive Experience”

Masterful Art History and Criticism – Helena on Reubens

Helena working her wonders again. She starts with a fun, accurate, thorough (let alone appetite-whetting) discussion of our Old Marylebone Walk (which she guided, brilliantly, before, sigh, we lost her to Cornwall). A discussion that leads us to the Wallace Collection. And the crowning glory of the podcast: a spellbinding exploration of two Reubens masterpieces. The paintings were meant to be hung together. They no longer do – one of them is at the National Gallery, the other is here at the Wallace Collection. But in this podcast Helena has reunited them. So, yes, welcome to yet another Helena Jones feast: a thrilling discussion of Reubens‘ A View of Het Steen in the Morning and The Rainbow Landscape.

Strongest possible recommendation that you open up each gallery’s online “view” of its half of the pair of Reubens paintings while Helena takes you through the work. I’ve provided the links below.

Our cup runneth over because this “Reubens podcast” is Helena’s introduction to the Wallace Collection. As she tells us right at the end, she’ll be moving on, in her next podcast, to the most celebrated painting of all in the collection. And more follows. We’re so lucky.


“a move that elevated the walk to the category of unmissable”

“different features of the collection”

“some of his triumphs were legendary”

“a combination that guaranteed huge successes in the auction room”

“The Laughing Cavalier”

“Franz Hals”


“The Rainbow Landscape”

“An Autumn Landscape”

“the more time you can spend with this painting the more pleasure you derive from the experience”

“National Gallery”

“paintings of ladies with lots and lots and lots of layers of flesh”

“painting a rainbow was one of the great artistic challenges”

“an image so transient so fleeting in its nature”

“no undertaking has ever surpassed my courage”

“perfect harmony and balance”

“right down to the hanging of the paintings”

“the satisfaction of outbidding the National Gallery”

“new frames based on 17th-century models”

“paintings were hung facing each other”

“truly immersive experience”

“reunites the two paintings”

“the most celebrated in the Wallace collection and one of the most famous paintings in the world”

They were always together but when they came to London they went their separate ways. Helena brings them back together.




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