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Culture

What's on at Europe's Museums

Braunschweig celebrates Rubens, Vienna turns to classical modernity, London remembers great naval adventures, Nice shows Arnulf Rainer and Sardinia pays tribute to Dali.

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The scent of adventure: William Hodges' "Dusky Bay"

Rubens' passions in Braunschweig

Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640), Gezähmter Kentaur

"The tamed centaur" -- graphic by Peter Paul Rubens

The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig, Germany has devoted an exhibition to the works of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the museum. Called "Baroque Passions", the show includes 80 works by the Flemish painter, 40 of which are paintings. The theme "passion" is at the center of the exhibition and is apparent in the unabashedly erotic and violent scenes on display. Whether it's the visibly freshly cut off "Head of Medusa" with its wreath of wriggling snakes or the famous predatory "Saturn" feasting on an infant, the exhibits are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Most of the paintings stem from famous European art collections.

"Baroque Passions" runs through Oct. 31 and is open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Classical modernity in Vienna

Ansicht von St. Germain

A view of St. Germain, painting by Paul Klee

A new permanent exhibition at the Museum for Modern Art (MUMOK) in Vienna documents important periods in art from 1900 until 1960. The museum, with its own collection and special exhibitions, is famed for its modern and contemporary art. But the museum's curators point to the significance of classical modernity in understanding contemporary art as the reason for the addition of a new department. The new collection features works by artists such as Paul Klee, Rene Magritte, Frantisek Kupka and Pablo Picasso.

The new collection is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Thursdays until 9 p.m.

South Sea Romanticism on the Thames

A View of Cape Stephens in Cook's Straits

A View of Cape Stephens in Cook's Straits, painting by William Hodges

The National Maritime Museum in London is for the first time displaying all the works of British painter William Hodges (1744-1797). The artist accompanied the explorer Captain Cook on his two great maritime adventures from 1772 to 1775 and was charged with "creating an improved impression of things which can't be described alone through words," in Hodges' own words. The journeys took Hodges from the icy cold Antarctic Sea to the islands of New Zealand. His pictures today show what only a few bold adventurers witnessed: the cascades of the Tuauru Valley, the rolling battle boats in front of the Otaheite island or the mysterious sculptures on the Easter Islands. Called "The Art of Exploration", the exhibition includes 20 works on paper and 50 oil paintings, many of which have never been on public display before.

The "Art of Exploration" runs through Nov. 21 and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Painting Over" paintings in Nice

Nike träumt

Nike dreams of her painter -- a "painting over" of a classical painting by Arnulf Rainer

The Marc Chagall Museum in Nice is showing more than 100 works of contemporary Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer, famed for his distorted angels' faces that look more like suffering human ones. Born in 1929 in Baden near Vienna, Rainer is also known for his technique of "painting over" paintings, with which he debuted in 1953. He first began with his own existing works, in particular pictures of his own body, before he turned to rework paintings by other artists. The current exhibition called "Arnulf Rainer - Painting/ Painting Over", focuses on Rainer's "painting over" of biblical scenes by famous artists such as Gustave Dore and Marc Chagall.

"Arnulf Rainer - Painting/ Painting Over" runs through Oct. 25 and is open daily except Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The genius of Dali in Sardinia

The island of Sardinia has devoted a large exhibition to legendary Spanish artist Salvador Dali (1904-1989) on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Over a 100 graphic works of the Spanish surrealist genius and his contemporaries will be on display at an exhibition at the "Centro Comunale d'Arte e Cultura Exma" in Cagliari. The lithographs from the 1970s and 1980s takes up on themes from Dali's masterworks from earlier years such as "The Great Masturbator" or "The Madonna of Port Lligat". The show also includes works by Miro, Picasso, Max Ernst and Man Ray that stem partly from private collections. The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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