Rubens Revealed: The Prodigal Son ran from 1 December 2007 until 3 February 2008.
First and foremost, this dossier presentation dealt with the various stages of the creative process in the production of The Prodigal Son . From concept, over design, to execution. The themes and their iconographies, the composition, the pictorial design and Rubens’ style and technique were all richly illustrated. The viewer was offered a looking-glass for a detailed exploration of this intriguing painting, which ingeniously combines the parable of the 'Lost Son', the theme of bucolic life and an extraordinary use of spatial effects, light and colour into a complex whole.
Furthermore, the exhibition shed a light on the restoration process of the painting. The various aspects and phases of its treatment were illustrated with extensive photographic documentation. The restoration went hand in hand with a photographic and materials analysis that provided unprecedented insight into Rubens' technique.