London, Tate Britain

Just as Hans Holbein had a huge impact by painting the court of Henry VIII, the Flemish-born van Dyck became the greatest painter in seventeenth-century Britain. Born as Antoon van Dijk in Antwerp in 1599, he stayed in London briefly in 1620-1621 and then returned in 1632 to paint King Charles I court. Mightily successful, he was honored with a knighthood and died as Sir Anthony van Dyck in 1641.

This show assembles some of the highest quality paintings that van Dyck produced during his years in Britain. It also reveals his enduring visual legacy and how he influenced other artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Singer Sargent, some of whose works are included. Featuring works from the Royal Collection and the National Trust, the exhibition contextualizes van Dyck’s work and his approach to painting the British elite. What shines through is his attentiveness to costumes and finery and his technique for lusciously depicting the rich fabrics of the period. Watch out for the “Portrait of a Lady and a Boy, with Pan”; the appearance of the painting changed dramatically after an extensive cleaning process in YEAR when the angels and guitar became exposed.

February 18 through May 17, 2009
Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
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