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

Portrait of Marcello Durazzo

Oil on canvas, 205 x 125 cm
Galleria Franchetti, Ca' d'Oro, Venice

During his first three years in Genoa, Van Dyck was paid for portraits of Marcello Durazzo and his wife Caterina Balbi (now in Genoa). The traditional configuration features celebratory elements, such as the column and drapes, but the relaxed execution and the nobleman's insouciant pose point to a new and entirely individual sensitivity.

With his usual freedom, Van Dyck painted this Genoese marquis leaning against a pillar in a relaxed and negligent pose; yet the keen, forceful gaze also suggests the nobleman's spirited, imperious character.