Rare Van Dyck painting sells for $3 million

Rare Van Dyck painting sells for $3 million
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Abandoned in a barn for years, a painting by the renowned Flemish 17th century artist Anthony Van Dyck was rediscovered and has sold for $3 million at auction in the United States.

The portrait depicts a nude man sitting on a stool and was likely painted between 1615 and 1618 when Van Dyck was working with Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp.

The oil painting was found to be the study for 'Saint Jerome' (a later work by the artist). It was acquired by a man named Albert Roberts, who bought the painting for $600 towards the end of the last century. Roberts, a collector of "lost" pieces, discovered the painting in a farm shed. However, it was only after his death in 2021 when is family decided to auction the painting that it was found to be a Van Dyck.

Sotheby's, the auction house, states that the painting represents a major discovery in the hierarchy of 17th century Flemish masters. Van Dyck's 'St. Jerome' painting hangs in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Van Dyck hired a bearded man to sit several times and he appears in many of the artist's paintings.

Van Dyck was born in Antwerp and became a successful painter of religious and mythological paintings in Antwerp and Italy at a young age. He was just 17 years old when he did his first independent pieces. According to the National Gallery, Van Dyck was best known for his painting of Charles I in his Equestrian Portrait of Charles I.

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The same model is depicted in a painting called 'Two Studies of a Bearded Man' and can be found at the Rockoxhuis in Antwerp. Another painting located in Belgium, 'Crucifixion of St. Peter', can be found at the Royal Museum of Fine Art and History in Brussels.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Albert B. Roberts Foundation to provide financial support to artists and other charities.

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