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Anthony Van Dyck

            Anthony Van Dyck's "Andromeda Chained to the Rock" .
             Anthony Van Dyck is a brilliant and tremendously influential portrait painter who .
             was also a religious and narrative artist, a consummate draughtsman and etcher and a .
             charming occasional landscape watercolorist. The seventh of twelve children born to a .
             wealthy silk merchant in Belgium, Anthony van Dyck began to paint at an early age. By .
             the age of nineteen, he had become a teacher in Antwerp. In his early twenties, van Dyck .
             went to Italy, where he studied the paintings of Titian and Paolo Veronese and worked as .
             a successful portrait painter for the Italian nobility. In 1621 Anthony van Dyck left .
             Antwerp and his position as chief assistant to Peter Paul Rubens. He spent the next six .
             years in Italy, conceiving a obsessive admiration for Titian and developing a mature .
             painting style. He lived in England from 1632 to his death, becoming a fashionable .
             portrait artist and court painter to King Charles I.
             The piece that really stands out of all Van Dyck's work is Andromeda Chained to .
             the Rock. Van Dyck's cultural environment and pictorial style come forward in this .
             painting of Andromeda, the beautiful Ethiopian princess whose sacrifice was required to .
             calm a sea monster ravaging the kingdom. Van Dyck depicts her chained in a rocky cave .
             awaiting her fate, while the monster approaches through the waves. Perseus, her rescuer, .
             moves quickly along through the skies on Pegasus. .
             Andromeda stands firmly, full-length, and life-sized, looking up in anguish. .
             Andromeda has a solid physical presence, which may also come from the fact that Van .
             Dyck used his mistress Margaret Lemon for the model of this painting. The woman's .
             lively eyes, detailed facial features, and fine modeling of flesh tones show the Van .
             Dyck's concern for texture and pattern. His brush strokes vary to soften the background .
             and rock and to enhance the physical quality of Andromeda's skin and drapery.

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