Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Van Dyck or Bust

Mary, Lady van Dyck, nee Ruthven  (1640)
Anthony van Dyke was a 17th century portrait painter whose chief claim to fame may have been the fact that his oeuvre was overshadowed by the likes of Rubens,Velasquez and Rembrandt-- who were contemporaries. It's like beating the 4 minute mile today. When Roger Bannister succeeded, it was a big deal. Now with his numbers, you might not even win the local meet. Innovation is time bound though genius probably isn't. Rembrandt was sui generis. If you had plucked him out of his era and placed him in Chelsea in the era of Jeff Koons he would undoubtedly have gotten the attention of Larry Gagosian. But the point is, if you missed the Anthony van Dyke: the Anatomy of Portraiture show which closed at The Frick last Sunday, don't feel bad. He was no Rembrandt. 

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