History of Art and Architecture

Stephanie Dickey Lecture


Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

"Passions and Portraits: Thoughts on Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and the History of Taste"

Dr. Stephanie S. Dickey, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queen's University

Among the Baroque paintings held in the Royal Collection in London are two works from the early modern Netherlands: the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn's Portrait of the Shipbuilder Jan Rijcksen and his Wife Griet Jans, 1633, and the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck's Cupid and Psyche, 1640. At first glance, these paintings could not look more different, yet they have more in common than at first appears. Close analysis reveals how these paintings encapsulate the competitive relationship between two gifted artists, the tensions between tradition and modernity that characterized their age, and the essential significance of emotion in the visual language of the Baroque.

Rembrandt, The Shipbuilder Jan Rijksen and his Wife Griet Jans, 1633, London, Royal Collection

Anthony van Dyck, Cupid and Psyche, 1640, London, Royal Collection