Peter Paul Rubens
Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history, his unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat, knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. Rubens was a prolific artist; the catalogue of his works by Michael Jaffé lists 1,403 pieces, excluding numerous copies made in his workshop. His commissioned works were "history paintings", which included religious and mythological subjects, hunt scenes.
He painted portraits of friends, self-portraits, in life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed prints, as well as his own house, he oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the royal entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria in 1635. His drawings are predominantly forceful and without great detail, he made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium for large works, but he used canvas as well when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems. Rubens was born in the city of Siegen to Maria Pypelincks, he was named in honour of Saint Paul, because he was born on their solemnity. His father, a Calvinist, mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Habsburg Netherlands by the Duke of Alba. Jan Rubens became the legal adviser of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine, born in 1571.
Following Jan Rubens's imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father's death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic. Religion figured prominently in much of his work, Rubens became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting. In Antwerp, Rubens received a Renaissance humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city's leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen. Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists' works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi's engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.
In 1600 Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga; the colouring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens's painting, his mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian. With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he copied works of the Italian masters; the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons was influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He was influenced by the recent naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio. Rubens made a copy of Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ and recommended his patron, the Duke of Mantua, to purchase The Death of the Virgin. After his return to Antwerp he was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary for the St. Paul's Church in Antwerp. During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian, collected by Philip II, he painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian's Charles V at Mühlberg. This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined diplomacy, he returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria, the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, he began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was in Rome. During this period Rubens received, with the assistance of Cardinal Jacopo Serra, his most important commission to
Philip III of Spain
Philip III was King of Spain. He was as Philip II, King of Portugal, Naples and Sardinia and Duke of Milan from 1598 until his death. A member of the House of Habsburg, Philip III was born in Madrid to King Philip II of Spain and his fourth wife and niece Anna, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain. Philip III married his cousin Margaret of Austria, sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. Although known in Spain as Philip the Pious, Philip's political reputation abroad has been negative – an'undistinguished and insignificant man,' a'miserable monarch,' whose'only virtue appeared to reside in a total absence of vice,' to quote historians C. V. Wedgwood, R. Stradling and J. H. Elliott. In particular, Philip's reliance on his corrupt chief minister, the Duke of Lerma, drew much criticism at the time and afterwards. For many, the decline of Spain can be dated to the economic difficulties that set in during the early years of his reign. Nonetheless, as the ruler of the Spanish Empire at its height and as the king who achieved a temporary peace with the Dutch and brought Spain into the Thirty Years' War through an successful campaign, Philip's reign remains a critical period in Spanish history.
After Philip III's older brother Don Carlos died insane, Philip II had concluded that one of the causes of Carlos' condition had been the influence of the warring factions at the Spanish court. He believed that Carlos' education and upbringing had been badly affected by this, resulting in his lunacy and disobedience, accordingly he set out to pay much greater attention to arrangements for his sons. Philip II appointed Juan de Zúñiga Prince Diego's governor, to continue this role for Philip, chose García de Loaysa as his tutor, they were joined by Cristóbal de Moura, a close supporter of Philip II. In combination, Philip believed, they would provide a consistent, stable upbringing for Prince Philip, ensure he avoided the same fate as Carlos. Philip's education was to follow the model for royal princes laid down by Father Juan de Mariana, focusing on the imposition of restraints and encouragement to form the personality of the individual at an early age, aiming to deliver a king, neither tyrannical nor excessively under the influence of his courtiers.
Prince Philip appears to have been liked by his contemporaries:'dynamic, good-natured and earnest,' suitably pious, having a'lively body and a peaceful disposition,' albeit with a weak constitution. The comparison with the memory of the disobedient and insane Carlos was a positive one, although some commented that Prince Philip appeared less intelligent and politically competent than his late brother. Indeed, although Philip was educated in Latin, French and astronomy, appears to have been a competent linguist, recent historians suspect that much of his tutors' focus on Philip's undeniably pleasant and respectful disposition was to avoid reporting that, languages aside, he was not in fact intelligent or academically gifted. Nonetheless, Philip does not appear to have been naive – his correspondence to his daughters shows a distinctive cautious streak in his advice on dealing with court intrigue. Philip first met the Marquis of Denia – the future Duke of Lerma – a gentleman of the King's chamber, in his early teens.
Lerma and Philip became close friends, but Lerma was considered unsuitable by the King and Philip's tutors. Lerma was dispatched to Valencia as a Viceroy in 1595, with the aim of removing Philip from his influence. By now in poor health himself, King Philip II was becoming concerned over the prince's future, he attempted to establish de Moura as a future, trusted advisor to his son, reinforcing de Loaysa's position by appointing him archbishop; the prince received a conservative Dominican confessor. The following year, Philip II died after a painful illness, leaving the Spanish Empire to his son, King Philip III. Philip married his cousin, Margaret of Austria, on 18 a year after becoming king. Margaret, the sister of the future Emperor Ferdinand II, would be one of three women at Philip's court who would apply considerable influence over the king. Margaret was considered by contemporaries to be pious – in some cases, excessively pious, too influenced by the Church –'astute and skillful' in her political dealings, although'melancholic' and unhappy over the influence of the Duke of Lerma over her husband at court.
Margaret continued to fight an ongoing battle with Lerma for influence up until her death in 1611. Philip had an'affectionate, close relationship' with Margaret, paid her additional attention after she bore him a son in 1605. Margaret, alongside Philip's grandmother/aunt, Empress Maria – the Austrian representative to the Spanish court – and Margaret of the Cross, Maria's daughter – formed a powerful, uncompromising Catholic and pro-Austrian voice within Philip's life, they were successful, for example, in convincing Philip to provide financial support to Ferdinand from 1600 onwards. Philip acquired other religious advisors. Father Juan de Santa Maria – confessor to Philip's daughter, doña Maria, was felt by contemporaries to have an excessive influence over Philip at the end of his life, both he and Luis de Aliaga, Philip's own confessor, were credited with influencing the overthrow of Lerma in 1618. Mariana de San Jose, a favoured nun of Queen Margaret's, was criticised for her influence over the King's actions.
The Spanish crown at the time ruled through a system of royal coun
Guild of Saint Luke
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, identified by John of Damascus as having painted the Virgin's portrait. One of the most famous such organizations was founded in Antwerp, it continued to function until 1795, although by it had lost its monopoly and therefore most of its power. In most cities, including Antwerp, the local government had given the Guild the power to regulate defined types of trade within the city. Guild membership, as a master, was therefore required for an artist to take on apprentices or to sell paintings to the public. Similar rules existed in Delft, where only members could have a shop; the early guilds in Antwerp and Bruges, setting a model that would be followed in other cities had their own showroom or market stall from which members could sell their paintings directly to the public. The guild of Saint Luke not only represented painters and other visual artists, but also—especially in the seventeenth century—dealers and art lovers.
In the medieval period most members in most places were manuscript illuminators, where these were in the same guild as painters on wood and cloth—in many cities they were joined with the scribes or "scriveners". In traditional guild structures, house-painters and decorators were in the same guild. However, as artists formed under their own specific guild of St. Luke in the Netherlands, distinctions were made. In general, guilds made judgments on disputes between artists and other artists or their clients. In such ways, it controlled the economic career of an artist working in a specific city, while in different cities they were wholly independent and competitive against each other. Although it did not become a major artistic center until the sixteenth century, Antwerp was one of, if not the first, city to found a guild of Saint Luke, it is first mentioned in 1382, was given special privileges by the city in 1442. The registers, or Liggeren, from the guild exist, cataloging when artists became masters, who the dean for each year was, what their specialities were, the names of any students.
In Bruges, the dominant city for artistic production in the Low Countries in the fifteenth century, the earliest known list of guild members dates to 1453, although the guild was older than this. There all artists had to belong to the guild in order to practice in their own names or to sell their works, the guild was strict about which artistic activities could be practiced–distinctly forbidding an artisan to work in an area where another guild's members, such as tapestry weaving, were represented; the Bruges guild, in a idiosyncratic medieval arrangement included the saddlemakers because most members were painting illuminated manuscripts on vellum, were therefore grouped as a sort of leatherworker. Because of this link, for a period they had a rule that all miniatures needed a tiny mark to identify the artist, registered with the Guild. Only under special privileges, such as court artist, could an artist practice their craft without holding membership in the guild. Peter Paul Rubens had a similar situation in the seventeenth century, when he obtained special permission from the Archdukes Albert and Isabella to be both court artist in Brussels and an active member of the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp.
Membership allowed members to sell works at the guild-owned showroom. Antwerp, for example, opened a market stall for selling paintings in front of the cathedral in 1460, Bruges followed in 1482. Guilds of St. Luke in the Dutch Republic began to reinvent themselves as cities there changed over to Protestant rule, there were dramatic movements in population. Many St. Luke guilds reissued charters to protect the interests of local painters from the influx of southern talent from places like Antwerp and Bruges. Many cities in the young republic became more important artistic centres in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Amsterdam was the first city to reissue a St. Luke's charter after the reformation in 1579, it included painters, sculptors and other trades dealing in the visual arts; when trade between the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic resumed with the Twelve Years' Truce in 1609, immigration increased and many Dutch cities reissued guild charters as a form of protection against the great number of paintings that began to cross the border.
For example, Gouda and Delft, all founded guilds between 1609 and 1611. In each of those cases, panel painters removed themselves from their traditional guild structure that included other painters, such as those who worked in fresco and on houses, in favor of a specific "Guild of St. Luke". On the other hand, these distinctions did not take effect at that time in Haarlem. In the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, however, a strict hierarchy was attempted in 1631 with panel painters at the top, though this hierarchy was rejected. In the Utrecht guild founded in 1611, the break was with the saddlemakers, but in 1644 a further split created a new painters' guild, leaving the guild of Saint Luke with only the sculptors and woodcarvers. A similar move in The Hague in 1656 led to the painters leaving the Guild of Saint Luke to establish a new Confrerie Pictura with all other kinds of visual artists, leaving the guild to the house-painters. Artists in other cities were not successful in setting up their own guilds of St. Luke, remained part of the existing gui
Church of Our Lady, Bruges
The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, dates from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Its tower, at 115.6 metres in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world. In the choir space behind the high altar are the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Valois Duke of Burgundy, his daughter, the duchess Mary; the gilded bronze effigies of both father and daughter repose at full length on polished slabs of black stone. Both are crowned, Charles is represented in full armor and wearing the decoration of the Order of the Golden Fleece; the altarpiece of the large chapel in the southern aisle enshrines the most celebrated art treasure of the church—a white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child created by Michelangelo around 1504. Meant for Siena Cathedral, it was purchased in Italy by two Brugean merchants, the brothers Jan and Alexander Mouscron, in 1514 donated to its present home; the sculpture was twice recovered after being looted by foreign occupiers—French revolutionaries c. 1794 and Nazi Germans in 1944.
Close to the Michelangelo statue important Brugeans are buried such as Françoise de Haveskercke, buried next to her husband in the black tomb of the Haveskercke family on the right side of the statue. Bumpus, T. Francis, The Cathedrals and Churches of Belgium, London: T W Laurie, pp. 138–144, OCLC 221948162. Hobbs, Jerry R. A Michelangelo in Belgium? The Bruges Madonna, Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, archived from the original on 8 June 2014. Kerknet Vlaanderen, archived from the original on 14 April 2012, retrieved 14 April 2012. Official website of the Church of Our Lady, Bruges
History painting is a genre in painting defined by its subject matter rather than artistic style. History paintings depict a moment in a narrative story, rather than a specific and static subject, as in a portrait; the term is derived from the wider senses of the word historia in Latin and Italian, meaning "story" or "narrative", means "story painting". Most history paintings are not of scenes from history paintings from before about 1850. In modern English, historical painting is sometimes used to describe the painting of scenes from history in its narrower sense for 19th-century art, excluding religious and allegorical subjects, which are included in the broader term history painting, before the 19th century were the most common subjects for history paintings. History paintings always contain a number of figures a large number, show some type of action, a moment in a narrative; the genre includes depictions of moments in religious narratives, above all the Life of Christ, as well as narrative scenes from mythology, allegorical scenes.
These groups were for long the most painted. The term covers large paintings in oil on canvas or fresco produced between the Renaissance and the late 19th century, after which the term is not used for the many works that still meet the basic definition. History painting may be used interchangeably with historical painting, was so used before the 20th century. Where a distinction is made "historical painting" is the painting of scenes from secular history, whether specific episodes or generalized scenes. In the 19th century historical painting in this sense became a distinct genre. In phrases such as "historical painting materials", "historical" means in use before about 1900, or some earlier date. History paintings were traditionally regarded as the highest form of Western painting, occupying the most prestigious place in the hierarchy of genres, considered the equivalent to the epic in literature. In his De Pictura of 1436, Leon Battista Alberti had argued that multi-figure history painting was the noblest form of art, as being the most difficult, which required mastery of all the others, because it was a visual form of history, because it had the greatest potential to move the viewer.
He placed emphasis on the ability to depict the interactions between the figures by gesture and expression. This view remained general until the 19th century, when artistic movements began to struggle against the establishment institutions of academic art, which continued to adhere to it. At the same time there was from the latter part of the 18th century an increased interest in depicting in the form of history painting moments of drama from recent or contemporary history, which had long been confined to battle-scenes and scenes of formal surrenders and the like. Scenes from ancient history had been popular in the early Renaissance, once again became common in the Baroque and Rococo periods, still more so with the rise of Neoclassicism. In some 19th or 20th century contexts, the term may refer to paintings of scenes from secular history, rather than those from religious narratives, literature or mythology; the term is not used in art history in speaking of medieval painting, although the Western tradition was developing in large altarpieces, fresco cycles, other works, as well as miniatures in illuminated manuscripts.
It comes to the fore in Italian Renaissance painting, where a series of ambitious works were produced, many still religious, but several in Florence, which did feature near-contemporary historical scenes such as the set of three huge canvases on The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, the abortive Battle of Cascina by Michelangelo and the Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci, neither of which were completed. Scenes from ancient history and mythology were popular. Writers such as Alberti and the following century Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, followed public and artistic opinion in judging the best painters above all on their production of large works of history painting. Artists continued for centuries to strive to make their reputation by producing such works neglecting genres to which their talents were better suited. There was some objection to the term, as many writers preferred terms such as "poetic painting", or wanted to make a distinction between the "true" istoria, covering history including biblical and religious scenes, the fabula, covering pagan myth and scenes from fiction, which could not be regarded as true.
The large works of Raphael were long considered, with those of Michelangelo, as the finest models for the genre. In the Raphael Rooms in the Vatican Palace and historical scenes are mixed together, the Raphael Cartoons show scenes from the Gospels, all in the Grand Manner that from the High Renaissance became associated with, expected in, history painting. In the Late Renaissance and Baroque the painting of actual history tended to degenerate into panoramic battle-scenes with the victorious monarch or general perched on a horse accompanied with his retinue, or formal scenes of ceremonies, although some artists managed to make a masterpiece from such unpromising material, as Velázquez did with his The Surrender of Breda. An influential formulation of the hierarchy of genres, confirming the history painting at the top, was made in 1667 by André Félibien, a historiographer
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III. The members are called Jesuits; the society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, cultural pursuits. Jesuits give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, promote ecumenical dialogue. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque nobleman from the Pyrenees area of northern Spain, founded the society after discerning his spiritual vocation while recovering from a wound sustained in the Battle of Pamplona, he composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber and professed vows of poverty and obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope in matters of mission direction and assignment. Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by a bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
Ignatius was a nobleman who had a military background, the members of the society were supposed to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Accordingly, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Jesuits are thus sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's soldiers", "God's marines", or "the Company", which evolved from references to Ignatius' history as a soldier and the society's commitment to accepting orders anywhere and to endure any conditions. The society participated in the Counter-Reformation and in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is led by a Superior General. The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit mother church. In 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, taking the name Pope Francis; as of 2012, the Jesuits formed the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The Jesuits have experienced a decline in numbers in recent decades; as of 2017 the society had 16,088 members, 11,583 priests and 4,505 Jesuits in formation, which includes brothers and scholastics. This represents a 42.6 percent decline since 1977, when the society had a total membership of 28,038, of which 20,205 were priests. This decline is most pronounced in Europe and the Americas, with modest membership gains occurring in Asia and Africa. There seems to be no "Pope Francis effect" in counteracting the fall of vocations among the Jesuits; the society is divided into 83 provinces along with six independent regions and ten dependent regions. On 1 January 2007, members served in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and the US.
Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics, 65.5 years for brothers. The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Arturo Sosa; the society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is active in the Philippines and India. In the United States the Jesuits have historical ties to 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools; the degree to which the Jesuits are involved in the administration of each institution varies. As of September 2018, 15 of the 28 Jesuit universities in the US had non-Jesuit lay presidents. According to a 2014 article in The Atlantic, "the number of Jesuit priests who are active in everyday operations at the schools isn’t nearly as high as it once was". Worldwide it runs 172 colleges and universities. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning, lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth, training men and women for others.
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the "Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus", "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent official documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, community life, apostolate of the new religious order, its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background: Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, further by means of ret
Anthony van Dyck
Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England after success in the Southern Netherlands and Italy. The seventh child of Frans van Dyck, a wealthy Antwerp silk merchant, Anthony was precocious as a youth and painted from an early age. In his late teens he was enjoying success as an independent painter, becoming a master in the Antwerp guild in 1618. By this time he was working in the studio of the leading northern painter of the day, Peter Paul Rubens, who became a major influence on his work. Van Dyck worked in London for some months in 1621 returned to Flanders for a brief time, before travelling to Italy, where he stayed until 1627 based in Genoa. In the late 1620s he completed his admired Iconography series of portrait etchings of other artists, he spent five years after his return from Italy in Flanders, from 1630 was court painter for the archduchess Isabella, Habsburg Governor of Flanders. In 1632 he returned to London to be the main court painter, at the request of Charles I of England.
With the exception of Holbein, van Dyck and his contemporary Diego Velázquez were the first painters of pre-eminent talent to work as court portraitists, revolutionising the genre. He is best known for his portraits of European aristocracy, most notably Charles I and his family and associates, he painted mythological and biblical subjects, including altarpieces, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. His superb brushwork rather painted, can be distinguished from the large areas painted by his many assistants, his portrait style changed between the different countries he worked in, culminating in the relaxed elegance of his last English period. His influence extends into the modern period. During his lifetime, Charles I granted him a knighthood, he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, an indication of his standing at the time of his death. Antoon van Dyck was born to prosperous parents in Antwerp, his father was Frans van Dyck, a silk merchant, his mother was Maria, daughter of Dirk Cupers and Catharina Conincx.
He was baptised on 23 March 1599. His talent was evident early, he was studying painting with Hendrick van Balen by 1609, became an independent painter around 1615, setting up a workshop with his younger friend Jan Brueghel the Younger. By the age of fifteen he was a accomplished artist, as his Self-portrait, 1613–14, shows, he was admitted to the Antwerp painters' Guild of Saint Luke as a free master by February 1618. Within a few years he was to be the chief assistant to the dominant master of Antwerp, the whole of Northern Europe, Peter Paul Rubens, who made much use of sub-contracted artists as well as his own large workshop, his influence on the young artist was immense. The origins and exact nature of their relationship are unclear. At the same time the dominance of Rubens in the small and declining city of Antwerp explains why, despite his periodic returns to the city, van Dyck spent most of his career abroad. In 1620, in Rubens's contract for the major commission for the ceiling of the Carolus Borromeuskerk, the Jesuit church at Antwerp, van Dyck is specified as one of the "discipelen", to execute the paintings to Rubens' designs.
Unlike van Dyck, Rubens worked for most of the courts of Europe, but avoided exclusive attachment to any of them. In 1620, at the instigation of George Villiers, Marquess of Buckingham, van Dyck went to England for the first time where he worked for King James I of England, receiving £100, it was in London in the collection of the Earl of Arundel that he first saw the work of Titian, whose use of colour and subtle modeling of form would prove transformational, offering a new stylistic language that would enrich the compositional lessons learned from Rubens. After about four months, he returned to Flanders, but moved on in late 1621 to Italy, where he remained for six years, studying the Italian masters and beginning his career as a successful portraitist, he was presenting himself as a figure of consequence, annoying the rather bohemian Northern artist's colony in Rome, says Giovan Pietro Bellori, by appearing with "the pomp of Zeuxis... his behaviour was that of a nobleman rather than an ordinary person, he shone in rich garments.
He was based in Genoa, although he travelled extensively to other cities, stayed for some time in Palermo in Sicily. For the Genoese aristocracy in a final flush of prosperity, he developed a full-length portrait style, drawing on Veronese and Titian as well as Rubens' style from his own period in Genoa, where tall but graceful figures look down on the viewer with great hauteur. In 1627, he went back to Antwerp where he remained for five years, painting more affable portraits which still made his Flemish patrons look as stylish as possible. A life-size group portrait of twenty-four City Councill