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Artists Anthony Van Dyck

Anthony Van Dyck

Flemish Painter

Anthony Van Dyck Photo
Movements and Styles: The Baroque, Dutch Golden Age

Born: March 22, 1599 - Antwerp, Belgium

Died: December 9, 1641 - London, England

Peter Paul Rubens was renowned throughout Flanders when there appeared in his school in Antwerp a young man possessed of such noble generosity of manners and so fine a talent for painting that he gave every indication that he would bring it distinction and add splendour to the dignity and excellence to which the master had raised his profession. This was Anthony van Dyck, born in the same city in the year 1599.


One of the most important painters of the 17th century, Anthony Van Dyck revolutionized portrait painting in Britain, moving it away from the stiff and formal conventions to a more relaxed and fluid aesthetic. He is best known for his elegant and, often intimate, paintings of European aristocracy, particularly Charles I of England and his court and through these he became the leading influence on portrait painting in Britain over the next 200 years, directly inspiring other famous portraitists such as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Van Dyck also played a role in helping to establish the Baroque movement. His religious and mythological scenes feature dramatic compositions alongside a very human sense of naturalism and intimacy. In taking this approach he rejected the influence of classical painting and sculpture even when this meant moving beyond the techniques of his mentor Peter Paul Rubens.

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