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Royalist refugees. William and Margaret Cavendish in the Rubens House (1648-1660)

01.10.06 - 31.12.06

This exhibition offered an interesting insight into the world of William and Margaret Cavendish and cultural life in Antwerp in the first years after Rubens died.

In 1648, eight years after Rubens died, his house in Antwerp served as a refuge for William and Margaret Cavendish, the later Duke and Duchess of Newcastle. The couple lived in the former artist's residence for twelve years.

William Cavendish (1593-1676) was a keen art lover. He was a poet and playwright, a patron of music, the visual arts and architecture and was fascinated by science. He was also an excellent horseman. He opened a riding school in Rubens's former house, which attracted visitors from all over the world, including the crème de la crème of nobility. 

Cavendish’s second wife, Margaret (1623-1673) was an author. She was one of the first women in the history of literature whose work was published during her lifetime and under her own name. Quite a feat in those days.