Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Self-Portrait, ca. 1620–21
Oil on canvas
47 1/8 × 34 5/8 in. (119.7 × 87.9 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Jules Bache Collection
Van Dyck produced a number of self-portraits around 1621 that show a marked development in mood, style, and purpose from his earlier self-portraits. While his previous self-portraits are intimate in character, these later works demonstrate the considerable status the young artist had by then achieved. They illustrate to perfection Giovan Pietro Bellori’s description of Van Dyck as appearing "resplendent in rich attire of suits and court dress," and "by nature grand and eager to become famous." This painting may have been made in England during Van Dyck’s short stay in the winter of 1620 and attests to his transformation into a sophisticated courtier.