Anthony van Dyck “Mary Villier, Lady Herbert of Shurland” ca. 1636 by Plum leaves on Flickr.
Sir Anthony van Dyck
"Mary Villiers, Lady Herbert of Shurland"
Oil on canvas, 42 x 33 in.
Timken Museum of Art
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641) Flemish Baroque artist and the leading court painter in England.
This recently discovered masterpiece was painted at the request of King Charles I, in whose collection the portrait once hung. In this hauntingly tender portrait, Lady Maryy Villiers (1622-1685), pale and delicate, was raised in the royal household after her father was assassinated. She went on to be one of the more intriguing individuals connected with the English court.
This excellently preserved work reveals not only how wonderfully fluid van Dyck’s style could be but also how sensitive he was to the psychological nuances of the female sitter.
The intimacy of van Dyck’s portrayal is remarkable even within his own body of work and due, perhaps, to the special rapport he had with his young sitter, whom he had known since at least 1633, and whose portrait he painted on several occasions through out her life.