Sir Anthony van Dyck

Princess Elizabeth, 1635 - 1650 and Princess Anne, 1637 - 1640. Daughters of Charles I (1637)

About this artwork

This unique and delightful oil-study for Van Dyck's famous painting, 'The Five Eldest Children of Charles I', shows two-year-old Elizabeth, supporting the baby Anne. Van Dyck captures the chubby roundness and rosy colouring of the young princesses' faces offset by their linen caps and the elder sister's pearl necklace. The finished group portrait hung above the king's breakfast table at Whitehall and is still in the Royal Collection. Sadly both girls died young of tuberculosis: Anne was only three and Elizabeth fifteen. Her mother was convinced that Elizabeth had really died of a broken heart after her father's execution.

see more information
  • title: Princess Elizabeth, 1635 - 1650 and Princess Anne, 1637 - 1640. Daughters of Charles I
  • accession number: PG 3010
  • artist: Sir Anthony van DyckEnglish (1599 - 1641)
  • depicted: Princess Elizabeth
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Children Royalty
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1637
  • measurements: 29.80 x 41.80 cm (framed 53.30 x 60.30 x 8.90 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Office and the Art Fund 1996
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir Anthony van Dyck

Sir Anthony van Dyck

Van Dyck is perhaps most famous for the grand and elegant portraits he painted of the British aristocracy when he was court painter to King Charles I. He trained in Antwerp, and worked in Rubens’s studio as an assistant. His outstanding talents were recognised and encouraged by Rubens, who described him as his ‘best pupil’. Van Dyck developed his sumptuous portrait style during time spent in Italy, but also painted impressive religious, allegorical and mythical works. After returning to Antwerp for several years, Van Dyck moved to London in 1632, having accepted the King’s invitation to work for him, and remained there for the rest of his short but influential career.