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 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

Related Events


Andrew Ratcliffe Residency

9 November, 10.00 - 4.00, Free for pass holders or normal admission

Andrew Ratcliffe Residency

Come and see artist Andrew Ratcliffe creating new work inspired by the exhibition The Power and the Virtue: Guido Reni’s Death of Lucretiahttps://www.andrewratcliffe.com/.


Film Screening: Make Do and Mend

30 November, 14.15 - 14.45, Free, book or drop in

Film Screening: Make Do and Mend

This powerful short film, which audiences have called 'life changing', shares three real North East women's stories of their personal experiences of domestic abuse. The script was created from their stories, in the exact words in which they told them to the filmakers. The survivors also helped to make the set, costumes and props.

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Panel Talk: Is All Art Activism?

30 November, 15.30, Free for pass holders or normal admission, Booking required

Panel Talk: Is All Art Activism?

Arts education and training company Changing Relations C.I.C will host this thought-provoking panel talk, asking a question which is bound to ignite many opinions - "Is all art activism"?

Guido Reni's painting style is sublime, yet the subject of the central painting in The Power and The Virtue exhibition is violent- a woman who has committed suicide after being raped. This apparent contradiction raises the familiar question of whether art is purely for art's sake, or is it driven by, or accountable for, a social purpose?

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