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Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in TellMeWhy |

What Are Your Knowledge on Sir Anthony Van Dyck?

What Are Your Knowledge on Sir Anthony Van Dyck?

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599–1641)  was a Flemish painter. He was a pupil, and later the rival, of Rubens in Antwerp, though a very different artist. Van Dyck is best known for his portraits, especially of the royal family in England. He was employed by Charles I from 1632 until his early death, just before the English Civil War, and he painted noble and dignified portraits of him.

Van Dyck was a lovely man, but he was also fairly small, and his features lacked strength. Despite being socially aspirational, he maintained a strong commitment to his family and good relations with other artists. He had an elegant and affable demeanour. Legend has it that he had a penchant for extravagance and licentiousness; however, there is conflicting evidence to support this. Regardless of his character flaws, he was never idle. A man who passed away at the age of 42 could only have created a body of work this size by combining immense industry and technical skill. Aside from several reproductions made by him, 500 of his portraits still exist.

Van Dyck had a wide-ranging and enduring impact. He is more of an influence on the younger Flemish painters than Rubens. His style was perpetuated by other native Englishmen as well as Dutch and German portrait artists, particularly those working in London. These artists included Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller. Van Dyck was a major influence on the great English portrait painters of the 18th century, especially Thomas Gainsborough. Spanish painters, who appear to have learned about van Dyck’s religious compositions primarily from engravings, imitated and occasionally even copied the works of the Flemish artist.

His portraits are the foundation of van Dyck’s enduring popularity. Van Dyck was able to idealise his subjects without losing any of their unique characteristics, whether they were the royalty and artists of Antwerp, the nobility of Genoa, or the court of Charles I. He embraced portraiture styles that had already been developed, primarily by Rubens, Titian, Hans Holbein, and Antonio Moro, but he also created many variations while never losing sight of the essential requirement to maintain a faultless formality regardless of how accurate the likeness.

His reputation was always excellent, but in the 20th century, those of his youth and of his Genoese time were favoured for their spontaneity and freshness, whereas in the past, the works of his final period were most liked. Scholars’ and collectors’ attention has also been shifting towards previously disregarded works like the artist’s oil sketches, several watercolours, and numerous drawings, some of which contain careful analyses of the landscape.

Content for this question contributed by Chris Bonderenko, resident of Rathway, New Jersey, USA