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Estelle M. Hurll

The student of Van Dyck's art naturally classifies the painter's works into four groups, corresponding chronologically to the four successive periods of his life. There was first the short period of his youth in Antwerp, when Rubens was the dominating influence upon his work. The portrait of Van der Geest, in the National Gallery, belongs to this time.

The city of Antwerp was at one time famous for its commercial and industrial interests, and it was besides an important centre of art. Here in the seventeenth century lived the two foremost Flemish painters, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck. The Flemish industries had chiefly to do with the making of beautiful things. Among them were tapestries in rich designs and many colors, used for wall hangings. The Flemish weavers were also skilled in making fabrics of silk and velvet.

It has been reserved for our own day to produce two superb works by English writers on Van Dyck. The first to appear was that by Ernest Law, "a storehouse of information," on the paintings by Van Dyck in the Royal Collections. The second is the definitive biography by Lionel Cust: "Anthony Van Dyck; An Historical Study of his Life and Works." The author is the director of the English National Portrait Gallery, and has had exceptional opportunities for the examination of Van Dyck's paintings. His work has been done with great thoroughness and care.

We often read in history of the rejoicing throughout a kingdom over the birth of a prince: messengers are sent from place to place to proclaim the glad news, congratulations and gifts follow, every possible care is taken for the nurture and protection of the precious young life.

Frontispiece. Portrait of Van Dyck. Detail of a portrait of Van Dyck and John Digby, Earl of Bristol. Painted about 1640. Formerly in the Isabel Farnese Collection in the palace of San Ildefonso; now in the Prado Gallery, Madrid. Cust, p. 285.

A gentleman has brought his little boy to our painter's studio for a portrait sitting. Father and son are close friends and understand each other well. On the way they have talked of the picture that is to be made, and the boy has asked many questions about it. It is rather a tedious prospect to an active child to have to sit still a long time. But his father's companionship is his greatest delight, and it is a rare treat to both to have a whole morning together.

Compiled from Lionel Cust's Anthony Van Dyck, to which the references to pages apply.

1599. Antoon Van Dyck born March 22, in the house "der Berendaus," Antwerp (p. 4).

1601. Removal of Van Dyck family to house number 46 in street De Stat Gent (p. 4).

1607. Death of Van Dyck's mother (p. 4).

1609. Van Dyck among the apprentices of the painter Hendrick van Balen (p. 6).

St. Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan friar of the thirteenth century, celebrated for his piety and eloquence. He was a Portuguese by birth, and early in life determined to be a Christian missionary. His first labors were in Africa, but being seized by a lingering illness, he returned to Europe and landed in Italy. Here he came under the influence of St. Francis of Assisi, who was just establishing a new religious order. The rules were to be very strict: the members could possess nothing of their own, but were to beg their food and raiment of fellow Christians.


  • Franz Snyders, 1579-1657.
  • Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640.
  • Gaspard de Craeyer, 1582-1669.
  • Jacob Jordaens, 1594-1678.
  • Justus Sustermans, 1597-1681.
  • David Teniers, 1610-1690.


  • Pacheco, 1571-1654.
  • Herrera, 1576-1656.
  • Zurbaran, 1598-1662.
  • Velasquez, 1599-1660.
  • Cano, 1601-1676.
  • Murillo, 1618-1682.


In the time of Van Dyck there was living in Antwerp a family of ancient lineage who bore the name of Colyns de Nole. For three centuries there had been sculptors among the men of this name. The talent had been handed down from father to son through the several generations, and sometimes there were two or three of the family working together in the art. The old churches of Antwerp contained some fine specimens of their work.[4]

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