Anthony van Dyck: Portrait of Elena Cattaneo

Portrait of Elena Cattaneo: Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of Elena Cattaneo is a 1623 oil on canvas portrait painting by Flemish Baroque artist Anthony van Dyck.

Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who was to achieve renown as a portraitist. He was, as a young man, described by the famous Peter-Paul Rubens as ‘the best of my pupils’.

In this work of 1623 we meet the Genoese Marchesa who is sheltered from a coming storm shown in the dark rushing clouds by her servant with a red parasol.

She is depicted with great dignity and grandeur as she looks down at us from a height both formal in the work and social, given her aristocratic station. Her gaze out to the viewer perhaps invites us to consider her social position but her expression forbids us from familiarity.

Anthony van Dyck’s Portrait of Elena Cattaneo is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, United States of America.

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