Anthony van Dyck an outstanding Flemish artist of the 17th century, an unsurpassed master of the ceremonial court portrait. Anthony van Dyck is widely known for his paintings of religious and mythological themes in the Baroque style. The famous Fleming also had a great influence on the development of drawing and engraving, working in a mixed technique of incisor and etching.
Biography of Anthony van Dyck
He was the seventh of twelve children in the family of a wealthy merchant. At the age of 10, his father gave the boy to learn to draw in the workshop of the famous mythological genre artist Henrik van Balen (Hendrik van Balen). Young Antonis quickly absorbed knowledge and by the age of 15 he had become a very promising painter. His outstanding talent is clearly evidenced by his early works, including the first Self-Portrait (1614).
But it is precisely thanks to the masterfully painted portraits that van Dyck quickly becomes famous not only in his homeland, but also abroad. In 1620, at the initiative of the Marquis of Buckingham, a young artist came to the court of King James I of England. In London, he first got acquainted with the paintings of Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) and the masterpieces of the brilliant Venetian made a great impression on him. Returning after 4 months to his native Antwerp, van Dyck decides to leave for Italy. Here, for 6 years, he has been studying the work of the great masters of local schools of painting and persistently improving his own drawing style.
The return to Antwerp in 1627 was a triumph.
Van Dyck is appointed to the position of court painter of the ruler of the Spanish provinces of the Netherlands, the number of orders for painting is constantly growing.
In 1632, the painter receives an invitation to enter the service of the ruler of England, Charles I, and accepts it. The next 8 years were the happiest in the life of the master. He creates many luxurious portraits, marries the maid of honor of the English queen, and the monarch favorably grants the title of knight to the brilliant foreigner.
Caressed by society and the king, the master of art at the end of 1640, as it turned out, takes a very tragic step he goes to Paris to paint a portrait of Cardinal Richelieu. In the capital of France, the painter is overtaken by a mysterious illness that quickly destroys the health of a not yet old man.
The sick painter returns to London, where, despite the efforts of the best doctors, the King of England dies on December 9, 1641. Shaken by the death of his beloved artist, Charles I gives the order to bury him in St. Paul’s Cathedral the tomb of the most famous citizens of Great Britain.
Anthony van Dyck lived a short but very bright life. He early earned the fame of the greatest portrait painter and left many masterpieces to posterity.