And today I bring you....
Anthony van Dyck
1599 - 1641
Van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of King Charles I of England and Scotland and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draftsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching.
Van Dyck was born to prosperous parents in Antwerp. His talent was evident very early, and he was studying painting with Hendrick van Balen by 1609, and became an independent painter around 1615, setting up a workshop with his even younger friend Jan Brueghel the Younger. By the age of fifteen he was already a highly accomplished artist, as his Self-portrait, 1613-14, shows.
Self Portrait: 1613-14
Self Portrait: 1621
ignore the obligatory camp pose.
Self Portrait With a Sunflower showing the gold collar and medal King Charles I gave him in 1633. The sunflower may represent the king, or royal patronage.
Random fact: Van Dyck painted many portraits of men, notably Charles I and himself, with the short, pointed beards then in fashion; consequently this particular kind of beard was much later (probably first in America in the 19th century) named a vandyke or Van dyke beard (which is the anglicized version of his name). How fabulous is that?! Giving a name to a type of beard.
The below piece of artwork is not really a self-portrait, but I can't help notice the likeness of the subject (which is here St. Sebastian, a Christian martyr, who got a reputation of being the only good-looking saint, and nowadays has become somewhat of a gay icon) to the artist himself.
Some of his beautiful works:
(Including gratuitous pretty/handsome chappies as chosen by yours truly.)
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
Philip, Fourth Lord Wharton: 1632
Lord John and Lord Bernard Stuart: ca 1638
Portrait of a Young General: 1622-27
This Portrait of Charles I From Three Angles was painted by Van Dyck for the Italian sculptor Bernini, who was commissioned by Pape Urban VIII to make the bust of Charles I. The bust was indeed created by Bernini in 1636 and was greatly admired by the King. Unfortunately it was lost in the fire in the Whitehall Palace in 1698.
Hmm, I think I may be growing fond of Charles I, and the Cavalier years. *needs to learn more about said era* (Argh, Cromwel. *shakes fist*)
My overall rating of Van Dyck is 8. I am rather curious to see what you guys think.