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Painting Title Portrait of the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia
Collection Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Artist Studio of Dyck, Anthony van (Flemish painter, 1599-1641, active in England)
Date Earliest 1628
Date Latest possibly about 1633
Description

The sitter was the daughter of King Philip II of Spain. She and her husband Archduke Albert were made joint rulers of the Spanish Netherlands in 1598, and she became Governor following the Archduke's death in 1621. As a widow she joined the Third Order of St Francis - a division of the Franciscan order for laymen and women - and she is shown here wearing the habit of the order.

Van Dyck received a gold chain worth 750 guilders in December 1628 for a portrait of the Infanta Isabella. This was probably the full-length portrait now in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin, of which WAG 1191 is a three-quarter length variant. Van Dyck seems to have depended on Rubens's portraits of Isabella.

Current Accession Number WAG 1191
Subject portrait (Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia)
Measurements 143.5 x 114.3 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by the Royal Insurance Company 1954
Provenance Purchased in Holland c. 1800 or earlier for 300 by the London print dealer Thomas Philipe, from descendants of the family to whom the sitter had given the portrait; Philipe sale, Thomas King's, London, 23 May 1817, lot 23, purchased by (;) Andrew Geddes; Andrew Geddes; purchased from Geddes by the Earl of Hopetoun in 1821, with the involvement of Andrew Wilson; by descent to the Marquis of Linlithgow; sold Christie's 18 June 1954, lot 39.
Principal Exhibitions Paintings by Ancient Masters, inaugural exhibtiton of the Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, Mr Raeburn's Gallery, York Place, Edinburgh, 1819, cat. no. 11; Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, 1872, cat. no. 64; Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, 1900, cat. no. 43; Flemish Pictures, Royal Academy, London, 1953, cat. no. 446; Andrew Geddes 1783-1844, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2001, cat. no. 117.
Publications Waagen, G. F., Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854, vol. 3, p. 310; Compton, M., Walker Art Gallery: Foreign Schools Catalogue (Text), Liverpool, 1963, p. 60; Walker Art Gallery: Foreign Schools Catalogue (Plates), Liverpool, 1966, p. 103; Morris, E., and Hopkinson, M., Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool: Foreign Catalogue, 2 vols, Liverpool, 1977, pp. 59-60 (Text), p. 73 (Plates); Andrew Geddes 1783-1844, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2001, pp. 48-50.
Notes

Van Dyck seems to have depended for his likeness on Rubens's 1625 portrait of the Infanta (versions of this are in the Pitti Palace, Florence, no. 4263, and the Norton Simon Art Foundation, Pasadena, no. M.1966.10.10.P), and the overall conception of Van Dyck's portrait is very close to that of Rubens.

The circumstances of the painting's acquisition by Thomas Philipe are recounted in a memorandum from Andrew Wilson to Lord Hopetoun dated 11 January 1821 (Hopetoun House, Hopetoun Muniments, Bundle 620).

Rights Owner National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery
Author Joseph Sharples
 

 

 

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