After yesterday’s sad post about John Lennon’s 30th Anniversary of his death, I thought I’d share a similar post about one of my favourite Flemish painters, Anthonie “Antoon” van Dyck. He died this time today, in 1641 at 42.
I don’t know that much about him, but what I do know is that he was an understated authority in his subjects which was to dominate English portrait-painting to the end of the 18th century. He became the Principal Painter in Ordinary to King Charles I of England, a monarch known for his great love of art and massive collections, because he saw art as a way of promoting his grandiose view of the monarchy. Even though King Charles was actually under five feet tall!
You may have heard:
Van Dyck also painted many portraits of men, notably Charles I of England and himself, with the short, pointed beards then in fashion; consequently this particular kind of beard was much later (probably first in in the 19th century) named a vandyke or Van dyke beard (which is the Anglicised version of his name). [Taken from Wiki]
Why I like him so much:
My favourite paining of his is Amor and Psyche, 1638. Close to my heart since this is one of the few of his “mythology” paintings, which survived and I’ve seen. It’s also called Eros and Psyche – and Eros is a mythological character mentioned in my book Black Ice. And I have a huge respect and great fascination, for not only this artist, but for all things mythological, which is why I named several of my characters after Greek Gods and Goddesses.
I hope you get to see some of his work. They really are very impressive. In size and detail. Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.