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London's National Gallery gets first new display space in 26 years

Gallery B's opening show will be dedicated to works by Rubens and Rembrandt

by Gareth Harris  |  13 March 2017
London's National Gallery gets first new display space in 26 years
Peter Paul Rubens, The Judgment of Paris (around 1632-35) (Image: © The National Gallery, London)

The first new gallery space created at the National Gallery in London in 26 years is due to open later this month (22 March) with a display dedicated to the 17th-century Old Masters, Rembrandt and Rubens (until 16 July). The new 200 sq. m space, known as Gallery B, was designed by the UK-based architects Purcell. The move opens up the ground floor in the main Wilkins Building, creating a route from the main entrance in Trafalgar Square to the rear of the building on Orange Street.
 
Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Ludovicus Nonnius (around 1627) (Image: © The National Gallery, London)
Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Ludovicus Nonnius (around 1627) (Image: © The National Gallery, London)
The inaugural show includes nine works by Rubens, including Portrait of Ludovicus Nonnius (around 1627), and 11 paintings by Rembrandt such as Portait of Jacob Trip (around 1661). All of the works are drawn from the permanent collection. The Wolfson Foundation has supported the gallery project.
 
Gabriele Finaldi, the director of the National Gallery, says in a statement: “Gallery B is the first new gallery to open since the Sainsbury Wing was inaugurated in 1991. It provides the setting for an original display of works by two of the National Gallery’s titans, Rubens and Rembrandt.”
 
Meanwhile, construction work on a £17m redevelopment of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh has been delayed for several months. Work on the new wing, located in East Princes Street Gardens, was due to begin this month but “it has become clear that some elements around the delivery of the construction work are more complex and potentially more expensive to implement than was originally anticipated”, according to a gallery statement. Officials hope that the work can begin on site later this year.

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