Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Antwerp 1599 - 1641 London

  • Sir Anthony Van Dyck

    Antwerp 1599 - 1641 London

Sir Anthony van Dyck is one of the most celebrated and influential portraitists in the history of art. Born in Antwerp, Van Dyck was a precocious talent whose earliest independent works date from around 1615–16, when he was still a teenager. By the end of the decade he was producing accomplished religious and history subjects, and had also become Peter Paul Rubens’s most important assistant. In 1620–21 he was briefly in the service of King James I of England, but soon left to visit Italy. When Van Dyck arrived in Genoa, he encountered the majestic portraits Rubens had painted in the city in 1606, which in turn inspired his own aristocratic renderings of Genoese patricians. Perhaps of even greater importance to the development of his portraiture was the work of Titian, which he admired, studied, and collected on his travels. Following a second period in the Netherlands between 1627 and 1632, Van Dyck settled at the English court, where his authoritative and flattering representations of Charles I and his family set a new standard for portraiture to which the English aristocracy eagerly aspired. With his supreme flair for stylish, refined, and brilliant portraits, Van Dyck created enduring images of grace, elegance, and power which bring a magnificent era of English history triumphantly to life.

Works

Sir Anthony van Dyck
Antwerp 1599–1641 London
John Belasyse, First Baron Belasyse of Worlaby, 1636
Oil on canvas
99.1 x 78.7 cm (39 1/8 x 31 in.)