Anton Van Dyck – Rockoxhuis Antwerpen

anton van dyck - rockoxhuis antwerpen

A great painting. What makes it so great? Actually it is a study of the head of the old man. Two positions. Many would consider it as typical student’s work. So, it is not very exciting :). Actually, who would have bought it? No information, no story regarding this painting either. It is to be found on Wikipedia, at least something. However nobody really pays attention to it. Why am I writing about it? In my humble opinion this painting shows an incredible talent of Anton Van Dyck. It is almost a sketch. It seems to be not finished. No chance that any 17th-century collector would have bought it.

Look at the eyes, how they are painted, look at the hair, a light on the nose and the forehead. Everything is very delicate, however we can see very hard and bold brush-strokes made by a very sure hand. This type of this great expression and this sort of realism we can find, three centuries later, for instance in works by Edward Hopper (1882-1967) or Eric Fischl (born in 1948). However we are not to forget that Anton had no camera, he could not have seen shadows/lights on the film.

Of course I am not to compare those three artists. It is not my point to do so. I just want to show that Van Dyck was not the artist of his times, he went beyond Baroque. I would say that he represents also temporary art…


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