Anthonis van Dyck
(Antwerpen 1599 – London 1641)
Sir Anthonis van Dyck, Flemish Antoon van Dyck, was a Flemish painter and printmaker of the Baroque. Other versions of his name are Anton van Dyck and Anthony van Dyck. Van Dyck was a freelancer for Peter Paul Rubens.
His father was a textile merchant, his mother an embroiderer. Even as a child, Van Dyck was considered particularly talented in drawing. When he was ten years old, the painter Hendrick van Balen the Elder (1575 - 1632) accepted him already as a pupil - in 1610 Van Dyck is listed in the register of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke as Van Balen's apprentice. Van Dyck's early work clearly shows in detail the influence of Van Balen, who mainly created small-format mythological scenes for the Antwerp middle class.
At 16 Van Dyck had his first own studio, in which he employed a student.
When Anthonis Van Dyck was 19, he was already working as an independent and recognized master and became free master of the Guild of Luke. Four days later he was declared of legal age, with his father's consent.
From 1618 Van Dyck worked for Rubens, with whom he also lived for two years. In the course of this activity, he got to know the English art connoisseur Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, who appreciated Van Dyck's skills very much.
This resulted in Van Dyck's first trip to England in 1620. For half a year he worked there for King James I and painted some important men of the court. Van Dyck took the opportunity to study the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance in the collections of these courtiers, which had already interested him in Antwerp.
From 1621 to 1626 Van Dyck lived intermittently in Italy. in Genoa, Rome, Sicily and Venice, where he perfected his portraiture. A total of 280 portraits were created. His father died in 1622 and there is evidence that Van Dyck was in Antwerp at that time, where he also painted portraits of the mayor and a lady during this stay.
Through the time in Italy the influence of Rubens was supplanted in favor of the impact by Veronese and even more by Titian.
In 1626 Anthony van Dyck returned to Antwerp. As a result, he often stayed at court in Brussels. Large altarpieces were created, which again show Rubens` influence. In 1632 Van Dyck moved to London, where he worked for King Charles I. as a court painter and portraitist and became the darling of the aristocracy. In the same year Charles I. raised Van Dyck to the nobility.
Even today, the largest coherent collection of his works is owned by the English crown.
Anthonis Van Dyck died in London in 1641 and today is still known as one of the best and most famous artists in art history, and rightly so.
The "Van Dyck brown" was named after his typical style of painting.