DYCK, Sir Anthony van
(b. 1599, Antwerpen, d. 1641, London)

Portrait of Charles V on Horseback

c. 1620
Oil on canvas, 191 x 123 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Van Dyck was no more than twenty-one when he painted the most important man in Christendom. Charles was precocious too: king of Spain, then Holy Roman emperor before he was twenty. During the religious wars, this Catholic sovereign of much of Europe made peace with the Protestants and captured Rome and the second Medici pope, Clement VII.