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Never before, never again

Time’s running out for Early Rubens! Here's why you should hurry to see the exhibition that unites rare artworks that have never appeared together before – and may never again.

Samson and Delilah

Peter Paul Rubens, Samson and Delilah, c.1609. Oil on panel, unframed: 52.1 x 50.5 cm. Cincinnati Art Museum, Mr. and Mrs. Harry S. Leyman Endowment, 1972.459

Time is running out to explore the jaw-dropping works in Early Rubens before the exhibition closes on January 5 – forever. This is your last chance for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see artworks that have never appeared together before – and may never again.

There’s truly something for everyone. But don’t take it from us. Here are the top 10 reasons why the critics – and the kids – love the show!

  1. The art. The Globe and Mail called the exhibition “intensely alive,” and a “testament to the painter’s technical virtuosity and thematic complexity.”
  1. The history. CBC Entertainment noted that “Rubens’s flamboyant, dramatic work represents the pinnacle of the baroque tradition in Europe.”
  1. The storytelling. The Catholic Register took a deep dive into the tales of Rubens’s work and his embodiment of the art of persuasion, which they called, "monumental, overwhelming, seductive and never quite as straightforward as it might at first appear."
  1. The music. The Art Newspaper named the exhibition “spectacular” with praise for the musical addition. “As an added treat, harpsichordists will be on hand over the course of the show, to add a Baroque atmosphere to the galleries.”
  1. The animals. The Art Newspaper calls your attention to Daniel and the Lions’ Den and the magnificent detail Rubens realized through studying lions at a zoo in Brussels.
  1. The entrepreneurship. NUVO Magazine highlighted the “entrepreneurial prowess” of Rubens, including the creation of his studio and his foresight to develop a copyright for his “…grandiose, detailed, and visually commanding” works. You can see products of his Antwerp studio work throughout the exhibition.
  1. The Toronto connection. The Toronto Star remembered Ken Thomson and his generous contributions to the AGO. His legacy lives on through Early Rubens with the masterwork and exhibition centrepiece, The Massacre of the Innocents, which he gifted to the AGO. 
  1. Kids love it! In case you missed it, we caught kids reacting to works by Rubens…trust us, it’s worth watching.
  1. It was one of the best of the year. NUVO Magazine called the exhibition one of the best of 2019!
  1. You can see it for free. Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Passholders and visitors 25 and under.




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