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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Anthony van Dyck

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) was born in Antwerp. His father was a wealthy merchant and his early life was, according to a biography by Giovanni Bellori (1615–1696), “more like a prince’s than a painter’s.” By 1616 he was working as an assistant to Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640).Van Dyck travelled to Italy around 1620 and remained, studying Italian art and the work of the early Baroque masters, for six years. After returning to Antwerp and becoming quite successful, he was summoned to London by Charles I. Van Dyck painted portraits of the English royal family and quickly became popular with the ruling class. He is considered by many historians to be the father of English portrait painting. He died in London in 1641 and is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.