Van Dyck, Anthony

from The New Book of Knowledge®

ART HISTORY ON DEMAND > Artists

The Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck was born on March 22, 1599, in Antwerp, Belgium. When he was only 11 years old, he went to work for a local painter. Van Dyck was made a master of the painters' guild in 1618 and spent a few years as chief assistant to the famous artist Peter Paul Rubens.

After 1620, Van Dyck often left Antwerp to paint portraits in England and Italy. He became court painter to King Charles I of England in 1632, was knighted, and later married a lady-in-waiting of the queen.

His ability to capture the individuality of a person made Van Dyck's portraits his best works. Despite his short life, his elegant portraiture influenced English artists well into the 1800's.

Hoping to take Rubens' place as painter to the courts of Europe, Van Dyck again returned to Antwerp in 1640. Unable to achieve his goal, he went back to London, where his already failing health took a turn for the worse. He died on December 9, 1641.

Reviewed by Lola B. Gellman
Queensborough Community College

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