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Past Exhibition

Nicholas Lanier

oil painting of man with beard, dressed in orange and white with black covering, with hand on sword

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Nicholas Lanier, ca. 1628
Oil on canvas
43 3/4 × 34 1/2 in. (111 × 87.6 cm)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Nicholas Lanier was a musician, painter, and composer born in London to a family of French and Italian extraction. In 1626, he was named master of the king’s music to Charles I, and this portrait may have first brought Van Dyck into royal favor. Lanier also acquired a reputation as a painter and connoisseur of the arts, and Charles I entrusted him with the complicated negotiations for the purchase of the art collections of the Duke of Mantua. This portrait was displayed in Charles’s palace at Whitehall; when the king’s collections were sold after his execution, Lanier acquired the portrait for himself.