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9 / Portraits

James, Seventh Earl of Derby, His Lady and Child
James, Seventh Earl of Derby, His Lady and Child
Artist / Origin Sir Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599–1641)
Region: Europe
Date 1632–1641
Material Oil on canvas
Medium: Painting
Dimensions H: 97 in. (246.38 cm.), W: 84 1/8 in. (213.68 cm.)
Location The Frick Collection, New York, NY
Credit Courtesy of the Frick Collection, Henry Clay Frick Bequest

expert perspective

Susan SidlauskasAssociate Professor of Art History, Rutgers University

James, Seventh Earl of Derby, His Lady and Child

» Sir Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599–1641)

expert perspective

Susan Sidlauskas Susan Sidlauskas Associate Professor of Art History, Rutgers University

Van Dyck was a very canny, shrewd, highly successful portrait painter, a kind of protégé of Rubens, so he learned much from Rubens in terms of the sensuality of skin tone and the luster of costume. So he was able to invite the leading figures of his day into his studio, and traveled across Europe to paint all kinds of princes, kings, notorious figures of all kinds, authorities, both male and female, mostly men, but also women, because he became famous for portraits of beauties, which was a kind of English tradition. He was able to create representations of figures that were so lustrous that it became the most desirable thing to have your painting done by Van Dyck. Only people of the upper classes could afford fabric like this—first to be imported and then to be fashioned along with fur and lace and all kinds of other accoutrements, including jewels, into costumes of this luster.” 

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