Margareta de Vos

oil painting of seated woman in back dress with gold, with large white stiff collar

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Margareta de Vos, ca. 1620
Oil on canvas
51 1/2 × 39 1/8 in. (130.7 × 99.3 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest

Margareta de Vos was the daughter of a distiller and sister of three painters. In Van Dyck’s depiction, De Vos’s gleaming and starched millstone collar would have served as a striking token of prosperity, while his alterations to the composition of her head are now visible to the naked eye. The glass vase of flowers in De Vos’s portrait represents one of the most virtuosic passages in all of Van Dyck’s work, transmuting bold and unerring strokes of blue and buttery yellow paint into reflections on the surface of the vase.

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