Anthony van Dyck – celebrated all over Europe for his portraits of the rulers, generals, artists, and beauties of his time. He captured his subjects with unparalleled vitality while also clearly denoting their status. Yet Van Dyck’s path to fame was not easy: his artistic beginnings were shaped by the famous Peter Paul Rubens: the equally admired and almost unassailable role model. Early histories testify to an intense engagement with Rubens, but also a tough struggle against his overpowering precedent. It was only in Italy, under the influence of Venetian painters, of Titian and Tintoretto, that Van Dyck found his own style. His portraits are marked by a sensitive observation of personality, which he represented with an equally fine, almost tactile rendering of fabrics, presented against a backdrop of stately décor.
This exhibition presents the results of a research project over several years, exploring in particular the genesis of Van Dyck’s works and his workshop practice. The Alte Pinakothek’s own Van Dyck collection will be enriched by international loans, including drawings and oil sketches, allowing the visitor to follow the artist’s working process.