The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2019 > The Power And The Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia

The Power And The Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia


26 October – 20 January 2020

We’re privileged to be holding the first UK exhibition outside London, dedicated to the Italian Baroque master Guido Reni.

It will showcase his sublime mastery of female beauty and feature works from prestigious public and private collections, including The National Gallery and The Royal Collection, as well as unveil new research into works in the Museum’s own collection.

You can experience the aesthetic quality of Reni’s work up close, as you view his devotional and legendary heroines, from Mary Magdalene to Cleopatra; with the Death of Lucretia, The Bowes Museum’s own painting ‘in conversation’ throughout.

The Museum has collaborated with  The Northern School of Art to create garments inspired by the exhibition.

Us Too


In addition to The Power and The Virtue exhibition, arts and education training company Changing Relations CIC have produced a thought-provoking 30-minute soundscape – Us Too. Us Too aims to demystify who is affected by Domestic Abuse through transcript interviews blended with classical, experimental and electronic music and has been created by local artist Rupert Philbrick, Doctoral Researcher Ros Walling-Wefelmeyer and The Cobweb Orchestra. 

Artwork created by local artist Lizzie Lovejoy in response to the interviews and music will be showcased in a book alongside the soundscape. Through the soundscape and visual artwork Changing Relations hopes to aid self/peer identification and make victim support more likely.

The soundscape is of particular relevance to our exhibition due to Guido Reni’s “The Death of Lucretia” painting which exposes one of the most significant occurrences of violence against women. We are immensely proud of the fact that we are able to showcase local artwork alongside prestigious public and private collections, including The National Gallery and The Royal Collection.

blimey! Lucretia


blimey! Lucretia responds to the centrepiece of this exhibition. A series of communal gatherings will explore ideas about the painting, with guests invited to make new work with the blimey! collective. These works will become part of an exhibition in 2020 at the Museum alongside the creation of an artist zine, project film, artist talks and a symposium event.

blimey! is a female led Darlington based artist collective who work across a diverse range of creative practices. Artists include Carol Sommer, Amanda Marshall, Nicola Golightly and Vicky Holbrough

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The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.