Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Bangalore
Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Hyderabad   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Master of portraits



Van Dyck's signature strokes can be seen in the painting that shows Charles I returning from a hunt.

ONE OF Peter Paul Rubens' most famous students, Anthony Van Dyck was born on March 22, 1599, in Antwerp. The seventh of 12 children, Van Dyck was a precocious talent. Son of a wealthy silk merchant, he began his apprenticeship with the historical painter Hendrik van Balen at the age of 11 and was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of Painters before his 19th birthday in 1618.

In the next two years, Van Dyck served as apprentice to Peter Paul Rubens, and from Rubens learnt the art of reproducing textures and surfaces.

In 1620, he went to England and spent a few months in the service of James I. He was in Italy from 1621 to 1627. It was in Italy that he came to his own as he toned down the Flemish robustness and moved towards languidness and melancholy that was a great success with the Genoese nobility.

His portraits in these years featured idealised figures with proud erect stances.

The influence of Titian and Bellini is to be seen in the use of rich colours. He returned to Antwerp in 1627 and remained there till 1632 executing many religious works.

He left for England in 1632 and on July 5 the same year, Charles I knighted him. He was court painter to Charles and was very much in demand as a portrait painter. Van Dyck's painting in this period was luminous with sparkling highlights in gold and silver. To the accusation that he painted flattering portraits, we have the words of Countess of Sussex who, when she saw her portrait, is said to have commented that she felt "ill-favoured and quite out of love with myself".

His famous portrait of Charles I returning from a hunt is a perfect example of aspirational portraiture as it shows the monarch as "a figure of matchless elegance, of unquestioned authority and high culture, the patron of the arts and the upholder of the divine right of kings" (E.H. Gombrich).

Van Dyck's influence on portrait painting is enormous. Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds are generally accepted as his artistic heirs. Van Dyck died relatively young at 42 in London on December 9, 1641 and was buried at Saint Paul's Cathedral.

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Hyderabad   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2005, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu