Portrait of Gaston of France, Duke of Orleans
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Portrait of Gaston of France, Duke of Orleans

  • Localisation : The Tribune
  • Année de création :1628-1634
  • Artiste :Anton Van Dyck


The great Flemish artist, a court portrait painter in England, here offers a splendid effigy of Louis XIII’s brother, son of Henri IV and Marie de Medici. The prince, dressed in military apparel, is wearing the blue ribbon of the Order of the Holy Spirit. He is holding the baton of command in his right hand and his left elbow is resting on a lavishly decorated helmet. At the time, Gaston, who was first in line for succession to the throne, was constantly defying his brother the King and had to flee to Brussels in 1632. This is perhaps when the painter, in Brussels at that time, was called upon to paint this portrait. The date on the painting is indeed a subject of debate, and the actual date of painting is still discussed to this day. Van Dyck renders Gaston’s costume with breath-taking technique, bathing it in an opulent atmosphere of warm, golden shades. He renders the different textures of the fabrics, metal and skin tones with a precision that makes him one of the greatest portrait artists of his time.