Anthony van Dyck, D. Kenelmus Digbi Eqves (Kenelm Digby), c. 1645

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Artist: Anthony van Dyck (1599 - 1641)
Title: D. Kenelmus Digbi Eqves (Kenelm Digby), c. 1645
Medium: Original Engraving
Image Size: 10 in x 7 7/8 in (25.4 cm x 20 cm)
Sheet Size: 10 in x 7 7/8 in (25.4 cm x 20 cm)
Framed Size: approx. 23 in x 20 in (58.4 cm x 50.8 cm)
Edition: A Mauquoy-Hendrickx State V (of V), engraved by R.V. Vorst in collaboration with Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1559 - London, 1641).
Signature: Signed in the plate 'Ant. van Dyck pinxit', in the lower left; also signed 'R.V. Vorst. fculp' in the lower left.
Condition: This work is in good condition; slight horizontal and vertical fold creasing throughout.
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ID # w-3710

A wonderfully detailed and charismatic portrait, this exquisite work illustrates the technical mastery and artistic vision of Van Dyck. Kenelm Digby's stately, yet approachable expression reflects Van Dyck's refined ability to comfort and relax his subjects, resulting in a realistic and acute portrait. Digby was an English courtier and diplomat, reputed natural philosopher, privateer, and leading Roman Catholic intellectual. Aside from being a man of great intellect, he was known for his somewhat eccentric personality and memorable love story with wife Venetia Stanley (1600 - 1633), a celebrated beauty with a licentious reputation. Upon Venetia's mysterious death in 1633, Digby became a man overcome with mourning, isolating himself and immersing his studies in science. Digby is also curiously credited with the design of the modern day wine bottle. He appears here as a composed individual with long hair and beard, calmly gazing out at us. Behind him rests a curious object reminiscent of a globe, hinting at his profession. We can imagine that Van Dyck may have created the original sketch for this etched portrait prior to Venetia's death, after which Digby went a bit mad and would unlikely seem as calm and together as he appears in this portrait.

This portrait is a Mauquoy-Hendrickx State V (of V), engraved by R.V. Vorst in collaboration with Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1559 - London, 1641) as part of his Iconographie series of engraved portraits of famous people at the time. The plate has been marked in the lower left of the plate "Ant. Van Dyck pinxit," and above that in the lower left "R.V. Vorst. fculp." Also marked "Cum privilegio" in the lower right of the plate. Beneath the engraved portrait is the inscription: D. KENELMVS DIGBI EQVES | AVRATVS APVD CAROLV REGE MAGNÆ BRITANIÆ.

DOCUMENTED AND ILLUSTRATED IN:

1) Mauquoy-Hendrickx. L'Iconographie d'Antoine Van Dyck: Catalogue Raisonne I. Bruxelles: Bibliotheque Royale Albert I, 1991. Listed as catalogue no. 71 on pg. 147.

2) Mauquoy-Hendrickx. L'Iconographie d'Antoine Van Dyck: Catalogue Raisonne II. Bruxelles: Bibliotheque Royale Albert I, 1991. Illustrated as catalogue no. 71 on pg. 46.

3) A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

ABOUT THE FRAMING:
Framed to archival museum grade conservation standards, this piece is framed in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

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