Royal Collection acquires Van Dyck grisaille

July 20 2016

Image of Royal Collection acquires Van Dyck grisaille

Pictures: Royal Collection

The Royal Collection has acquired a recently discovered grisaille by Anthony Van Dyck. Van Dyck often used to do these small oil sketches in monochrome when sketching out group portraits, and in fact seems (later in his career) to have preferred them to drawings. Very few survive today. This sketch shows Van Dyck's first thoughts for his famous 'Great Peece', his first major portrait of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. Note, for example, how the young Charles II has been moved from the centre of the composition over to the left. 

The grisaille surfaced at a minor European auction back in (I think) 2011, and was spotted by Agnews. It was first covered here on AHN in 2012. The picture has now been sold by Agnews to the Royal Collection. You can zoom in on a high-res photo and read the new catalogue note here.

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