The recent restoration of Rubens’ Het Steen landscape brought about a significant change in the appearance of the work, done in advance of its pairing with the Wallace Collection’s Rainbow Landscape. It also occasioned a program of interdisciplinary research by the Gallery’s conservation, scientific, and curatorial staff, work which has brought new understanding of its technique and evolution. The panel is yet another example of an unusual additive working method, perhaps unique to Rubens, a context which has been provided by the important research undertaken in recent years in New York, Vienna, Madrid, and elsewhere.
Larry Keith studied painting conservation at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. He joined the National Gallery Conservation Department in 1991, and has headed the Conservation department since 2010. He has published extensively on painting conservation and technique in the Gallery’s Technical Bulletin and elsewhere, and has made major contributions to the catalogues of the Gallery’s exhibitions on Velazquez, Leonardo, and Artemisia.