Anthony van Dyck

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Sir Anthony Van Dyck: The Artist Who Introduced Fancy Dress In Portraits

Anthony van Dyck was born in a middle-class family on March 22, 1599, in Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands [now in Belgium]. He was from a family of artists, including his paternal grandfather and mother. 

One of the most famous painters of the 17th century, Anthony was established as a portrait painter in Britain. He was famous for his intimate, elegant paintings of European aristocracy, particularly of Charles I and his court. Through these paintings, Anthony became one of the most influential portrait painters in Britain. He inspired many portrait painters of his time, like Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. After Rubens, he was the most important Flemish painter, and Rubens inspired his works'. He also played a big role in the Baroque movement. His mythological and religious scenes show dramatic compositions with a human scene that reflect intimacy and naturalism.

Early life

The artist worked with bold hues and applied paint with fluid and slow brushstrokes. Clothing is the most integral part of his English portraits, and he has a likeness for informal and flowing wear. Anthony was the first artist to include fantasy dresses in his work. He also introduced different portraits to Britain, such as a group of people with parents and portraits showing siblings, rulers on horseback, men attracted to secretaries. The artist displayed the wealth and authority of his sitters. He managed to capture the essence of them with perfect use of color and expression.

Famous works

Portrait of a Man- His first surviving work

The taking of Christ- this artwork displayed the moment of Christ's betrayal. 

Isabella Brant- this is a portrait of Isabella Brant, the wife of Peter Paul Rubens. Here she is dressed and holds a fan.

Lucas and Cornelis de Wael- this painting shows the shared bond between Lucas and Wael. 

Samson and Delilah- this painting is a visualization of the old story of Delilah and Samson. This painting displays the moment after Samson has been betrayed. 

He was the most precious artist of his time, contributing a lot to the world of art. He died on December 9, 1641, in London, United Kingdom