Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Genoese Noblewoman, ca. 1625–27
Oil on canvas
90 7/8 × 61 5/8 in. (230.8 × 156.5 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Van Dyck spent most of his Italian years in Genoa, a thriving Mediterranean port with an important Flemish community. In the wake of Peter Paul Rubens, who had preceded him there in the first decade of the century, he provided the city’s noble families with grand portraits, many of which still adorn their palaces. This portrait of a luxuriously dressed young woman standing against a loosely defined architectural background is a typical example. Although she remains unidentified, the sash across her torso and the black edges of her cuffs seem to indicate she is a widow.