Untitled

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Date:1621 - 1700 (c.)

Description:

Anthony van Dyck (after) (1599-1641)

Untitled, 1621 - 1700

Oil on canvas

1130mm x 860mm

A contemporary copy of a self portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyke, painted c.1621, which is now in the Hermitage Museum.

Sir Anthony van Dyck was born in Antwerp and worked for some time in Rubens' studio before travelling to England and Italy. He subsequently became court painter to Charles I in England and is best known for his elegant portraits. In the Hermitage self-portrait, Van Dyck painted himself as a handsome, elegant and confident young man leaning nonchalantly against a balustrade with a broken column on his right, suggesting a classical environment that would be in keeping with its having been painted in Rome. The artist's soft curly hair frames his face on either side, while he scrutinizes the viewer. His black silk costume is only tied together at the front with a single bow and has slit sleeves, revealing the white shirt underneath. The right hand with its tapering fingers is hanging down from the balustrade, while the left arm is bent with the back of the hand against the artist's hip in a pose that Van Dyck was to use many times for his later portraits of Charles I and the English aristocracy.

This copy mimics the composition fairly accurately, including the broken column on the far left and the moulding on the balustrade. However, it lacks the quality of a good workshop copy, especially in the quality of the brushwork and in the face which here appears slightly puffy.


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Donor ref: LEAMG : A820.1992 (64/24420)

Source: Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

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