Two rare royal portraits of Van Dyck's hand exhibited for sale

 Two rare portraits of Antonis Van Dyck will become the «stars» of the sale of works of Old Masters at Sotheby's in December. These are the images of the eldest children of the British King Charles I, the 11-year-old Prince of Wales (later King Charles II) and his 9-year-old sister Mary Henrietta, who wore the Royal Princess's Tutu (later, the mother of King Wilhelm III). Canvases refer to the last works that the artist created for the crowned patron only a few months before his death.

These charming, well-preserved portraits of about a hundred years were in one of the private collections. Now their total preliminary estimate is 2.6 million pounds sterling (3.8 million dollars). 

These images were conceived and performed in the summer of 1641 years. Perhaps these are the portraits of the Prince and Princess mentioned in the workshop of Antonis Van Dyck, who died in December of the same year. They concentrate all the extraordinary skills with which the artist excelled in children's portrait painting in the early years of his career in Genoa. Both works with an amazing similarity depict the royal children at a time when their world and the monarchy of the stewards stood on the verge of collapse.

Antonis Van Dyck. Portrait of Charles II as Prince of Wales

Portrait of Charles II as Prince of Huelva van deke1641 «in these perfectly preserved portraits of two eldest children of the monarch, we see how the artist mobilizes all his virtuosity to convey the youth and status of his royal models,-said The co-Chairman of the Department of Old Masters Sotheby's Alex Bell. — The turbulent history of the Stewart Court has always captured the imagination of people. And the fascinating exhibitions in London this year would cause additional interest in the royal images, which are very seldom exhibited for sale «. 

Antonis Van Dyck. Endimion Porter and Antonis Van Dyck. Fragment: Self-portrait

Left: Antonis van Dyck, «Endimion Porter and Antonis Van Dyck (fragment: Self-Portrait)» (1623). The Prado National Museum, Mad

rid's van Dyck in 1632 was appointed the Chief Royal Artist of their Majesties and became the first painter to receive this Court position (in the history of the British monarchy there are 11 such masters; The last was George Hayter under Queen Victoria). 

A native of Antwerp created many portraits of Charles I, his wife Henrietta Mary and their children. Much of the canvases are still in the British royal Collection. The subtle style with which Van Dyck portrayed his crowning models dominated the English portrait painting until the end of the XVIII century.

Antonis Van Dyck. Karl I and Henrietta Maria with two eldest children, Prince Karl and Princess Maria

Karl I and Henrietta Maria with two eldest children, Prince Karl and Princess Marieiantonis van Dijk 1632, 303.8 × 256.5 smimage of the eldest child of Charles I-Prince of Wales and future King Charles II-estimated at 2 − 3 million pounds sterling. This is one of the best royal portraits in the late career of Van Dyck. Heir to the throne stands in armour, with the ribbon of the Order of the Garter, his left hand rests on the hilt of the sword, and right it rests on the stack. This image is a noticeable shift in the view of the young prince. Unlike the famous children's portraits, where he is surrounded by brothers and sisters, this radiates military and adult seriousness-both in the posture boy and in the surrounding objects.

Antonis Van Dyck. Five children of King Charles I

The five children of King Karl Iantonis van Dexxvii century, 89.5 × 176.2 is unknown when the king instructed to write this important portrait of the Prince. An indirect indication of the date can be found in the archival documents, where on August 9, 1641 there is a record of payment of the barge, which «took His Highness from Lambeta to Whitehall, and thence to Antonis Van Dyck and back.»

Despite his young age, the Prince of Wales accompanied his father at the beginning of the English Civil War and was present at the Battle of Edjhill in the year 1642. When by the year 1646 it became clear that Charles I was losing, the Prince was forced to flee from England and take refuge on the continent. After the king's execution, he conducted a series of unsuccessful campaigns to restore his right to the throne. Only when Oliver Cromwell died in 1658, and the reformed Parliament decided to reconstruct the monarchy, the heir returned to England as King Charles II.

Antonis Van Dyck. Portrait of Mary, the Royal Princess and Princess of Orange

Portrait of Mary, Royal Princess and Princess Oranguantonis van deke1641 «Portrait of Mary, Royal Princess» was written shortly after her marriage with Prince Wilhelm II of Orange. The bride at that time was 9 years old, the groom-15. This is the last image of the king's Daughter, written by Van Dyck. Maria is depicted in an elegant orange silk dress, trimmed with lace and decorated with a blue ribbon. She has a wedding ring on her finger and a large diamond brooch on her chest, which she donated the next day after the wedding in the spring of 1641. After her marriage, the Princess stayed in London until February 1642, and then went with her mother to Holland to reunite with her husband. In England she will return after the restoration of the monarchy, but soon died of smallpox at the age of 29 years. Her first son, who was born in 1650 two days before his father's death, later ascended to the English throne as Wilhelm III.

Gerrit van Hontkhorst. Portrait of Wilhelm II, Prince of Orange, and his wife Mary Stewart

Portrait of Wilhelm II, Prince of Orange, and his wife Maria Steergerrit van Honthorst 1647, 302 × 194.3 portrait of Maria, which is estimated at 600 − 800 thousand. Pounds Sterling is one of the three versions that were written, most likely, in the summer of 1641. By then, Van Dyck probably already felt too bad to finish the painting himself, and apparently instructed to write a princess dress to his apprentices. 

The sale of the works of the Old Masters, which will be exhibited portraits of the royal offspring, is to be held at Sotheby's headquarters in London on December 5. 

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