Anthony van Dyck Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Anthony van Dyck

Birthday :

March 22, 1599

Died On :

December 9, 1641

Birth Place :

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Zodiac Sign :


On 22, March 1599 Anthony Van Dyck was born in Antwerp, Belgium. It was in his teenage life that painting and artwork intrigued his mind. Little did he know that he was shaping his career. After some time, Anthony came to rule the 16th and 17th century with nothing else than a Flemish Baroque painter.

Before fame, his artistic talent led him to unlock his success where he opened his workspace. His great works made him travel to Paris and England where he used to work for ancient Sovereigns. As an epitome, Anthony Van Dyck's representations were significantly shaped by Van Balen and Ruben’s works.

Elegance, neatness, and urbanity typically defined his early and late styles of painting. Just to mention but a few, his famous painting include the Cruxification and Charles I. Though he loved to create different portraits and graphics, Anthony Van Dyck loved to paint history and religion facets. 

Childhood and Early Life

As previously mentioned Anthony Van Dyck spent his childhood life in Belgium, Antwerp. His parents, Frans van Dyck and Maria Cuypers greased their elbows to take care of their twelve children. His mother, Maria served as an embroiderer, and this is where Anthony opted to follow her footsteps.

He was taken to a local school, but he left in the middle to study painting. In 1609 he met a Baroque painter called Hendrick van Balen with whom he followed his artistic talent.

Anthony Van Dyck first started to showcase his creativity at his local workshop where he worked as an independent painter. It was there that he painted one of the most notable works called the Self Portrait in the 1610s.

After several trials and successes, Anthony Van Dyck was admitted at Antwerp painters Guild of Saint Luke. Here he worked as a chief assistant artist under Peter Paul Rubens. Known as a Flemish Baroque painter, he passively taught Anthony how to specialize in different portraits. After a short pause, he started to work on historical and religious genres.



Early in 1620, Anthony Van Dyck traveled to England to work under King James I of England. It was there that he got a chance to adventure other places such as London. Here, he met profound painters including Titian who advised him to study the use of color methodologies. After several months, Anthony went back to Flanders where he stayed for a year.

In 1621 Anthony Van Dyck went to Italy where he studied the works of Italian painters. In the process, he established his career as a portraitist. His adventuristic life made him spend time in places like Venice, Rome, Milan, and Padua. During his travels, Anthony loved to befriend talented men as well as living a lavish life.

It was at Italy that Anthony made several paintings all thanks to other painters works such as Ruben and Titian paintings.

In the mid of 1627, Anthony Van Dyck went back to his motherland where he continued to make different paintings. It was in 1632 that he commissioned several portraits. Some of his major works included the 24 Brussel’s City portrait.

While still at his native home, Anthony managed to learn how to paint with oil. After some time he released a series of five teen portraits in the 1640s.


Later Career

Anthony Van Dyck's work portrayed mental traits and emotions instead of daunting themes. For instance, in 1629 he painted the St. Catherine of Siena with crucified Christ. He also painted the Dominic of Osman, a portrait that received tons of accolades and positive critics. Before the end of the 1600s, Anthony had already established his name as a skilled painter, all thanks to Isabella Clara Eugenia.

In 1632 Anthony’s work was noted by King Charles I of England who was highly known for his love for art. It was there that he got a chance to paint specific themes including King Charles I’s sister, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. It was also the same year when Anthony was given a Knight status as well as getting a seat as Principal Painter in Ordinary of the Majesties. His paintings earned him profound popularity and affluence.

It was during his service at King Charles I throne that Anthony Van Dyck was allowed to paint the court, his loving mistress, Margaret Lemon, and the royal family. While still earning from his creativity, Anthony introduced another form of painting style. He came up with a relaxed and casual kind of art that was well known before the end of 18-century.

Unlike other painter’s works, Anthony’s paintings were quite easy to understand. He correctly used a high standard of typical hallmark style. After a short pause, Anthony Van Dyck returned to Antwerp where he received recognition as an honorary dean. He then returned to England, and after the death of Peter Paul Rubens in 1640 he went back to his native land hoping to attain his seat. Without positive results, he returned to England in 1641.


Personal Life and Legacy

Anthony Van Dyck is still regarded as one of the most profound and creative painters that the world has ever had. His paintings and portraits described different elements that gained tons of appreciation in the 1700s. Along with that, his luxurious life and affluence seemed to have attracted more women in his personal life. As a result, he made several paintings of his mistresses including his dearest Margaret Lemon with whom he had a daughter called Maria Theresa.

In 1638 hell broke loose when Anthony Van Dyck was forced to marry Mary Ruthven with the aim of settling down. He fathered a beautiful daughter called Justiniana on 1st, December 1641. After some time, Anthony’s health started to deteriorate, and he was announced dead on December 9th, 1641 at forty-two years of age in London.

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