Sir Anthony van Dyck

Date of birth: 1599 — Date of death: 1641

Painter. Son of Frans Van Dyck and Maria Cuypers. Van Dyck entered the studio of Hendrick Van Balen aged 10. By age 14, he was in the studio of Peter Paul Rubens and later worked as his chief assistant. Van Dyke produced an array of portraits and religious works, including the altarpiece The Madonna of the Rosary (1627). At the invitation of Charles I, Van Dyck went to England in 1632 as court painter. Portraits such as The Three Eldest Children of Charles I (Galleria Sabauda, Turin) have come to define his mature style. With the threat of civil war in England Van Dyck, as a devout Catholic, found his position in England increasingly unstable during the 1630s. He visited Antwerp in 1640 in a bid to distance himself from England, but fell upon increasing ill health.