Anthonis van Dyck - vendere e comprare opere
22 March 1599 Antwerp (Netherlands) - 9 December 1641 London (England)
Aside from his teacher Peter Paul Rubens, Anthonis van Dyck is the most prominent representative of Flemish Baroque painting. He became particularly famous for his portraits, which he produced in his position as court painter to Charles I, King of England. His art also explored religious and mythological themes.
Born 1599 as the son of a textile merchant in Antwerp, van Dyck demonstrated a prodigious talent for art, even at a tender age, embarking on an apprenticeship under Hendrick van Balen as a ten-year-old. He soon managed to establish himself professionally due to his extraordinary skill and diligence, as confirmed by his acceptance into the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master in 1618. He also contributed work to the studio of Peter Paul Rubens, where he quickly advanced to become his master’s most respected student. Rubens nurtured van Dyck’s talent and introduced him to numerous potential patrons.
Van Dyck travelled to England in 1620, where he was employed in the services of James I, King of England. While there, he benefited from the extensive collection of Italian Renaissance art. In order to explore the originals in their source country, he sojourned in Italy for five years after 1621, where he produced portraits in a variety of cities, perfecting his painting techniques. Venetian art in particular - works by Titian, Giorgione and Veronese - left a lasting impression on him and his artistic oeuvre. The sketchbook with drawings and drafts he produced during this period is now kept at the British Museum, together with other works by the artist. After returning to his home country, his patrons included Proconsul to the Netherlands, Archduchess Isabella, at the court in Brussels, where he also produced numerous ecclesiastical works. Van Dyck remained an avid traveller throughout his life and was always blessed by full order books. There was extraordinary interest in his paintings wherever he went. In addition, he had strong networks within the contemporary art scene - his friends included Jan Brueghel the Younger and others. Keen to advance in society, his appointment as court painter to Charles I, King of England, who also knighted him in 1632, was the high point of his career. Not only did he portrait the Royal Family in this function, he also produced paintings of other aristocrats at the Court. His painting technique was visionary and prepared the ground for subsequent generations of artists, among whom many copied his style. His portraits are characterised by a striking faithfulness to detail, a particular sense of lighting and a special focus on the face, which masterfully reflects the character of his subject. Due to his frequent travels and indefatigable work ethic, his pieces are now found in a large number of countries.
The first edition of his “Iconography” was published in 1640, containing 80 copperplate etchings with portraits of princes, statesmen, philosophers, artists and art enthusiasts.
The painter passed away the following year in London, during his final journey through Europe. He is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.