Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Cesare Scaglia Adoring the Virgin and Child, ca. 1634–35
Oil on canvas
42 × 47 1/4 in. (106.7 × 120 cm)
The National Gallery, London
Cesare Alessandro Scaglia, the scion of a noble Piedmontese family, was made an abbot as a child but devoted his life to a diplomatic career that took him to courts across Europe. He spent his last years as an exile in Flanders, where he commissioned many portraits and devotional works from Van Dyck. This image of the abbot adoring the Virgin and Child is remarkable for the portrait-like depiction of the Virgin, who bears a striking resemblance to Marie-Claire de Croÿ, as depicted in a portrait also in this exhibition. Unfortunately, no documentation has yet explained a connection between the duchess and Scaglia. A preparatory study for this painting is displayed here.