Antwerp. 22 March 1599 – London, 9 December 1641
He was a Flemish painter.
He was the seventh son of a rich middle class family.
Started working in the workshop of the Flemish painter Van Balen at a very young age and at only sixteen he opened his very own workshop. He was also friend of the painter Pieter Paul Rubens.
Like every other Flemish painter, he travels to Italy for training, traveling all the peninsula, from Genoa to Palermo, Rome, Florence, finally to Turin and Milan.
From Italy he moves to England to the court of Charles I of England, and deals mostly with portraits.
He goes back to Antwerp when his sister Comelia dies, as a fervent catholic he joins the Confraternity of Bachelors, created by the Jesuit, and starts a great religious production. He entered the service of Archduchess Isabella of Austria and became the court painter.
The true Van Dyck’s patron is Charles I, who nominates him baronet, however the painter decides to move to Antwerp and Bruxelles so he can be close to his family.
When Rubens dies, in 1640, he was offered the leadership of his workshop in Antwerp, but at the same time Van Dyck discovers that the French King Louis XIII is searching for an artist to decorate Louvre’s palace, so he travels to Paris.
In Paris he starts having health problems, so he decides to go back to London. The king sends his personal doctor. In 1st December 1641, lady Van Dyck gives birth to their first daughter, Justiniana. A few days later, Antoon dictates his will, in favor of his daughter, his wife, his sisters and a daughter he had in Antwerp.
In 9th December, Antoon van Dyck dies in his home in Blackfriars, he was buried near the Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The tomb was destroyed a few years later, along with the cathedral, in the Great Fire of London in 1666.