Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Woburn Treasures at the Queen’s House in Greenwich from 13 February 2020 to 17 January 2021

Exhibition Review: Woburn Treasures at the Queen’s House in Greenwich from 13 February 2020 to 17 January 2021

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Queen’s House in Greenwich in partnership with Woburn Abbey presents a new exhibition entitled Woburn Treasures which features significant works from the private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford on show in the Queen’s House. The collaboration marks the first time that significant parts of the Woburn collection have been on public display in a national museum since the 1950s.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The private art collection of The Duke and Duchess of Bedford is considered to be one of the most important art collections still in private hands and the Woburn Abbey loans comprise of over 20 works by artists such as Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Poussin and Canaletto. The artworks will hang alongside important works from the national collection of Royal Museums Greenwich.The collaboration has been made possible due to the 18-month closure of Woburn Abbey as it undergoes the biggest refurbishment and conservation project since it first opened to the public in 1955.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Highlights from the Woburn Treasures include a full length portrait of Anne of Denmark by Flemish artist Gheeraerts the Younger. Anne, queen consort of James I commissioned Inigo Jones to build the Queen’s House, the first Palladian villa in England.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

There is a large full length portrait of Lady Elizabeth Keppel by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition includes Canaletto’s large-scale Regatta on the Grand Canal, one of 24 paintings by the Italian artist commissioned for Lord John Russell, the Fourth Duke of Bedford, following his visit to Venice in 1731.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

There is an intimate portrait of Daniel Mytens and his wife by Sir Anthony van Dyck.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A wonderful pastoral scene is shown in Woodcutter and the Milk Maid by Thomas Gainsborough.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the more unusual portraits is that of Queen Mary I and Phillip II of Spain by an unknown artist, 1558.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Alongside the paintings is a selection of sculptures, ceramics and a silver-gilt toilette set spanning the 17th to 19th century. Many of the artworks showcased in the exhibition have been collected over many generations of the Russell family.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating Woburn Treasures exhibition is a rare opportunity to understand themes related to British country house collecting within the beautiful and architecturally important Queen’s House. To see many of these works of art before, you would have needed to go to Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire and pay an admission fee, this exhibition is an opportunity to access this outstanding collection for free in the capital.

The Woburn Treasures exhibition runs from 13 February to 17 January 2021 alongside Faces of a Queen: The Armada Portraits of Elizabeth I which is open from 13 February – 31 August 2020 at the Queen’s House in Greenwich , both are free to visit.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here

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