Monday, September 25, 2017

'LOST' PORTRAIT OF GAY LOVER
OF KING JAMES I HAS BEEN FOUND



A "lost" portrait of the male lover of England's King James I by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens has been rediscovered after almost 400 years.

The 17th Century Flemish artist's "head study" of the Duke of Buckingham was identified by Dr Bendor Grosvenor from BBC Four's Britain's Lost Masterpieces.

It was in Glasgow Museums' collection and on public display at the city's Pollok House stately home.

But overpainting and centuries of dirt meant it was thought to be a later copy by another artist.

Few people realise James 1st (James IV of Scotland) was gay. He was the King who succeeded Elizabeth 1st thus creating the 'United Kingdom'. This lost portrait of his lover is a remarkable find.

The restored portrait of George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was authenticated as a Rubens by Ben van Beneden, director of the Rubenshuis in Antwerp.

He said it was a "rare addition to Rubens's portrait oeuvre, showing how he approached the genre".

Dr Grosvenor said: "The chance to discover a portrait of such a pivotal figure in British history by one of the greatest artists who ever lived has been thrillingly exciting."

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