MILAN – Antoon van Dyck was a Flemish painter, mainly portraitist, who became the first court painter in England. Also known as Anton, Antony, Antoon, Antonie or Anthonis was born in 1599, the seventh child of a wealthy middle-class family. The biography
Van Dyck enters the service of the Flemish painter Van Balen at a very young age. The crisis of theMannerist painting requires a return to naturalism, as evidenced by painters such as Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio who then marked an epochal turning point for art. At the age of 16, Van Dyck opened his workshop as a painter. The relationship with Rubens
Van Dyck was also the pupil and friend of the painter Pieter Paul Rubens, of whom he assimilates the technique and, in part, the style. According to the testimonies of the time, the great artist collaborated with him and considered him the best pupil of him. Travels
After spending his youth in Antwerp, he moves to Italy, where he makes the ritual training journey, characteristic of all the great Flemish painters. Here he receives the opportunity to see and copy some great Renaissance works, especially by his favorite painter,Titian . He touches the major cities of the peninsula, from Genoa to Florence, passing through Rome, Palermo, Mantua to Turin and Milan. Returning from Italy, he goes to England, at the court of Charles I Stuart, where he deals almost exclusively with portraits. His return
In September 1627 he returned to his native Antwerp, recalled by the death of his sister Cornelia. The first months are characterized by a great religious production: Antoon, a fervent Catholic, joins the Confraternity of Celibates, created by the Jesuits of Antwerp, who also commissioned two altarpieces from him. The fame he acquired in Italy allowed him to enter the service of Archduchess Isabella of Habsburg, regent of the Netherlands on behalf of the King of Spain, so much so that he became the court painter. The King’s protege
Charles I is the true admirer of Van Dyck. Always a munificent patron and protector of artists, the sovereign, adoring Titian, saw in the Flemish artist his heir. With the arrival of Van Dyck, all the painters at the court disappear to make way for him. Despite the glory and the appointment of baronet Van Dyck decides to move to Antwerp and Brussels, to visit his family. Antwerp and Brussels
Rubens died in May 1640 and was offered to go to Antwerp to direct his workshop. He is about to leave when he discovers that the king of France Louis XIII is looking for an artist to decorate the main rooms of the Louvre palace. It is his chance so he leaves for Paris. The death
The French period gives him his satisfaction but when he begins to have health problems he decides to return to London. The king sends his personal doctor, offering him three hundred pounds as a reward if he manages to save his painter’s life. On 1 December 1641 Lady Van Dyck gives birth to their first daughter, Justiniana. A few days later Antoon makes a will, in favor of his daughter, his wife, his sisters and a natural daughter that he had had in Antwerp. On 9 December Antoon van Dyck died in his home in Blackfriars and was buried in the presence of the court in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The tomb was destroyed a few years later, along with the Cathedral itself, in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

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