Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 'Portrait of Sir William Killigrew' 1638

Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Portrait of Sir William Killigrew 1638
Oil on canvas
support: 1052 x 841 mm frame: 1260 x 1045 x 86 mm
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax with additional payment made with assistance from the Art Fund, the Patrons of British Art and Christopher Ondaatje 2002

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Other Patrons and Sitters, with Family Groups

Van Dyck introduced a sense of spontaneity and liveliness into portraits where previously there had been dignified repose. His sitters were all politically active to some degree, but were happy to be depicted in private or imaginary roles – as poet or soldier, or representing a religious, mythological or literary subject - often in fantasy costume. 

Portraits placed sitters within a dynasty, emphasising social position. This room brings together portraits of four members of the Killigrew family, one of which is also a friendship portrait in the manner van Dyck had derived from Italian portraiture, but then made his own. 

Comparison with the period clothes on display reveals the subtle ways in which van Dyck might paint loosened bodices and billowing sleeves or drapery, to give his patrons a radical new air of informality. Sometimes van Dyck removed fashionable elements like lace collars and cuffs that, in real life, signalled the sitter’s wealth and status. This simplification of dress also helped to speed up his studio’s prolific rate of production.

The ultimate status symbol was not to be portrayed in the height of fashion, but to be painted by the most fashionable artist of the day – Sir Anthony van Dyck.

Works in this room

Anthony van Dyck
Portrait of Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew 1638
Oil on canvas 1065 x 833 mm
Purchased with assistance from The Art Fund, Tate Members and the bequest of Alice Cooper Creed 2003

Anthony van Dyck
Anne Kirke c.1637–8
Oil on canvas 2222 x 1305 mm
Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Purchased with funds from the Adele S. Browning Memorial Bequest.

Anthony van Dyck
Thomas Killigrew and another Gentleman 1638
Oil on canvas 1327 x 1435 mm
Her Majesty The Queen (The Royal Collection Trust)

Anthony van Dyck
Lords George and Francis Villiers 1635
Oil on canvas 1372 x 1277 mm
Her Majesty The Queen (The Royal Collection Trust)

David Des Granges after Anthony van Dyck
Catherine, Countess Antrim, formerly Duchess of Buckingham 1639
Vellum laid on card 58 x 48 mm 
Her Majesty The Queen (The Royal Collection Trust)

Anthony van Dyck
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick c.1633
Oil on canvas 2134 x 1280 mm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

Anthony van Dyck
Venetia Stanley, Lady Digby, as Prudence c.1633
Oil on canvas 1011 x 802 mm
National Portrait Gallery, London

Anthony van Dyck
Lord George Stuart, Seigneur D’Aubigny c.1638–40
Oil on canvas 2184 x 1334 mm
National Portrait Gallery, London

Anthony van Dyck
Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland c.1638–40
Oil on canvas 716 x 606 mm
The Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement

Anthony van Dyck
Katherine Manners, Duchess of Buckingham 1634–5
Oil on canvas 2197 x 1327 mm
Private collection

Anthony van Dyck
Dorothy, Lady Spencer, later Countess of Sunderland c.1637–9
Oil on canvas 1362 x 1092 mm
Lord Egremont

Wenceslaus Hollar
A dark fur muff 1647
Etching 80 x 110 mm
Nicholas Stogdon

Wenceslaus Hollar
A group of muffs 1647
Etching 109 x 201 mm
Nicholas Stogdon

Wenceslaus Hollar
A dark fur muff 1647
Etching 82 x 112 mm
Nicholas Stogdon

Edmund Waller
Poems 1645
The British Library, London

Bodice 1630–40
Slashed silk satin
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Doublet and breeches 1630–40
Silk satin, pinked and stamped decoration
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Woman’s band and cuffs 1630–5
Linen edged with bobbin lace
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Lace for a man’s band c.1630
Flemish bobbin lace 
Victoria and Albert Museum, London