Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)
Antony van Dyck is a Flemish painter, a well-known master of aristocratic and intimate portrait, also known for his portraits of the members of the royal family. He painted with supernatural virtuosity, which set the standard of elegance in this genre. He also was an unsurpassed expert of works on biblical and mythological themes, as well as graphic and engraving.
Memoirs say that Antony was quite short and had a mysterious and ambitious personality. People remembered him as a lonely man who had no friends. Nevertheless, Antony loved fun, the futility of the court life and big money, had crews and servants, often payed visits to his mistresses. In self-portraits, he shamelessly made himself taller, more elegant and graceful. Still, it is obvious that he worked like a horse for weeks, because he often managed to finish a portrait or a big picture in just a few days. And not everyone can.
Antony Van Dyck left his mark on the history of world art as an outstanding portraitist, although during his short life he created a significant number of works on religious and mythological themes. Van Dyck showed incredible talent in various genres and was unequivocally recognized as a painter gifted by God himself. However, in Europe he was primarily known as a portraitist, or rather — a master of “aristocratic” portrait.
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