During the 17th century, painter Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) undoubtedly mastered the art — and anatomy — of portraiture. Whether it was a wealthy sitter’s real or imagined personality, all were captured with extreme elegance and verisimilitude. For the first time in nearly 20 years, a major exhibition dedicated to the genius is now on view. Where?
Featuring over 100 exquisite works of 17th-century court portraiture, “Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture” is a captivating exhibition at The Frick Collection in New York City. Opened on March 2, the show offers a comprehensive exploration of Anthony van Dyck’s life and career, which took the painter from his native Flanders to Italy, France, and, eventually, to the court of Charles I in London.

Anthony van Dyck, “Frans Snyders,” circa 1620, oil on canvas, 56 1/8 x 41 1/2 in. (c) The Frick Collection 2016

Van Dyck was an artist of outstanding versatility and inventiveness, especially with regard to his portraits, which form the dominant genre in his oeuvre. Whether it be absolute mastery in the representation of the world’s finest silk, or a subtle glance or gesture, Van Dyck was a genius at constructing an individual’s identity — even if it was fantasy. The exhibition will also track the artist’s stylistic development as a draftsman and painter. Beginning with his roots in Antwerp, the exhibition follows Van Dyck’s travels to Italy, his iconographic evolution, contemporaries, and finally his time in England.
“Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture” will run through June 5. To learn more, visit The Frick Collection.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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