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he was also, what every portrait-painter should be, a psychologist. He knew how to win all hearts, but he knew as well how to dip beneath the surface of things. Hence some of his portraits were not only realities but prophecies.
Among the best works of his English period are the most popular of all his pictures, namely, those of the King's children. Visitors to the Dresden, Berlin, London, and Turin galleries are familiar with these; that in the last-named city is an especially good example. It shows three of the children, Prince Charles (later Charles II.), Princess Mary (later wife of William II. of Orange), and the Duke of York (later James II.). Prince Charles, about five years old, stands at the left in a long, stiff scarlet frock embroidered
with silver lace. His right hand rests on the head of a brown spaniel. Princess Mary comes next, in a white satin dress which, like the robe of her brother Charles, seems, to more modern notions of dress, out of keeping with a child's age. Lastly comes the charming little Duke of York, in another stiff silk frock-blue this time— and holding an apple in his hand.
During the remaining years of his life Sir Anthony van Dyck painted the portrait of nearly every prominent person connected with the English court. No artist was ever so sought after or received so many orders. A visit to his studio was a regular part of the programme of the fashionables of Charles's time. One reason for such signal popularity and success may be found in the chagrinful consciousness that in
England there were no native painters worthy the name. There was a demand for portraits from the King and the nobles; hence we find a Holbein serving Henry VIII.; an Antonio Moro, Queen Mary; a Cornelius Janssens, James I.; a Rubens and a Van Dyck, Charles I.; a Lely and a Kneller, Charles II.
A year after Rubens passed away he was followed by his great pupil. Already shadows were beginning to fall thick and fast on that England. where Charles and his narrow-minded nobles, unmindful of just mutterings from the people, had been living lives of too great dalliance. Early in 1641 the royal family were compelled to flee from London; later, one of Van Dyck's best friends. and patrons, the Earl of Strafford, was led to the scaffold. His other royalist friends quickly scattered far and wide. The old, bigoted, kingly era was passing away, with the dogma of divine right. There was a kind of poetic justice that the delineator of so many defenders of aristocratic privilege should go too.
It was an early death; Van Dyck was only forty-two years old, but he had accomplished the labors of a century. He left nearly a thousand canvases, most of them of exalted merit.
Of these canvases, the earliest are largely religious in subject. What he was capable of doing in that field may be gathered from appreciations by high and low. On seeing the "Crucifixion" at Mechlin, Sir Joshua Reynolds declared it to be one of the first pictures in the world. When the farmers near the little village of Saventhem, Belgium, heard that the' parish
authorities had sold Van Dyck's
Dyck pictures thrill the soul, but all of them have what religious pictures often lack, a union of North and South, of robust dignity with refined grace. Take as examples "The Marriage of Saint Catherine" (Buckingham Palace, London), "The Madonna of the Donors " (Louvre, Paris), " The Repose in Egypt " (Pinakothek, Munich), The Tribute Money (Brignole Palace, Genoa), and "The Betrayal" (Prado, Madrid).
time to return to the field of his earlier labors. When we gaze upon his latest works, the splendid "Adoration of the "Adoration of the Shepherds" in the church at Termonde, or (what is sometimes thought to be his religious masterpiece) the "Dead Christ Lying in the Lap of his Mother" (Museum, Antwerp), we regret that he had not more time. Indeed, we feel this even in viewing the earlier works. Some of the Van
Van Dyck's greatest work was in portraiture. The criticism urged against him in this domain is the same criticism often brought against the fashionable portrait-painters of our own day, namely, that they flatter their subjects. While both Rubens and Van Dyck are sometimes open to this charge, no one will deny that rarely, if ever, have portrait-painters possessed more marked ability exactly to reproduce their subjects. If they did not disdain to increase their exchequers by means of occasional flattery, it only shows how widespread is this trick. of the portrait-making trade, whether the artist be a painter or a photographer, whether he stand in the lowest or highest rank. There are artists in every rank, nevertheless, who are faithful to absolute
truth and sincere simplicity.
The heads and hands painted by Sir Anthony van Dyck belong in general to that first rank. If traces of flattery and of conventional mannerisms may be detected in some, in most the impression is one of minute and painstaking conscientiousness and perseverance as well as of genius. Indeed, the painter generally insisted on detaining his sitters to partake
of lunch or dinner, so that he might, at his ease, study face and hand characteristics when his subjects were less conscious of being watched.
If, as creative forces and all-round artists, Velasquez, Rembrandt, and Titian excel Van Dyck, at least in his particular domain, portraiture, the name of the Fleming is, with theirs, immortal. His His name is naturally and must ever be associated with another's, his master's, and both constitute the proudest glory of Antwerp.
In actual imaginative power, in brute force and fire, in virile energy, in brilliant color, in vigorous handling, and in versatility, Rubens was never equaled by his pupil. The latter, however, more quiescent and reserved by nature. outdistanced the former in harmony of compos.tion, in skill in subordinating accessories, in correctness and clearness of outline, in unob trusive handling, in delicacy of modeling and color, in sensitiveness of psychologic description, in an almost feminine touch in the power to charm; above all, in the ability to emphasize what was refined or elevated in his subject-that is to say, in distinction. The painter is often not so much in evidence as with Rubens; the artist more so.
We know well how Van Dyck looked, for he painted no less than thirteen portraits of himself. The best of these hangs in the Uffizi at Florence. The artist
glances at us over his shoulder. His features are clear-cut, his eyes bright and intelligent, his expression grave yet winning. He wears his hair long, he has a lace collar about his neck, and a gold chain over his black doublet.
His extravagant and luxurious living. was almost justified by his unbounded hospitality, liberality, courtliness, kindness. Even in his Italian days he was called "Il pittore cavalieresco." While his studio was crowded with the most aristocratic society of the day, every strolling player and musician knew that a mere painter was the most liberal lord in London. His was a handsome and fit figure for that courtly time, and his were noble portraits too. But little of his personality has come down to us, and he left his name to no particular school of art, save as he may have more or less affected a certain number of the English painters who came after him.
What a pity that he left no school, and what a pity that he could not have lived to a Titian-like age! He died before his own character and career had been entirely developed and rounded and made what both might have become. However, we may not despair at the early death of geniuses if they leave behind such works as those of Keats and Shelley and Chopin and Schubert and Giorgione and Van Dyck, above all of Raphael.