Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
James Stanley, Lord Strange, Later Seventh Earl of Derby, with His Wife, Charlotte, and Their Daughter, ca. 1636
Oil on canvas
97 × 84 1/8 in. (246.4 × 213.7 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest
James Stanley, Lord Strange, Earl of Derby, was descended from an ancient land-owning family in the north of England that also ruled the Isle of Man. He married Charlotte de La Trémoille, who was related to some of the most prominent aristocratic defenders of Protestantism in continental Europe. Both played a role in the royalist cause following the outbreak of the civil war, and the earl was eventually beheaded. Here, Lord and Lady Strange form an inverted triangle with one of their daughters, an arrangement of classical simplicity that coexists with an allusive iconographic program. The island in the background may represent the Isle of Man and the color of the young girl’s dress her descent from the House of Orange.