Van Dyck Drawings

Christopher Brown, Author ABRAMS $95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3914-1
Animated horse and rider studies, powerful religious scenes, spirited re-creations of myth and delicate watercolors evoking the beauty of the English countryside are among the works in this handsome catalogue of Flemish artist Anthony Van Dyck's (1599-1641) drawings. Although there are a few gems here, most of the pictures are preparatory sketches, of interest chiefly for the light they throw on Van Dyck's portraits and religious paintings. This erudite volume, with an introduction and notes by Brown, chief curator of London's National Gallery, documents an exhibition traveling in the U.S. Van Dyck's few watercolors, far ahead of their time in freshness and technique, influenced later painters. His intensely visual intelligence and impulse to experiment are seen, for example, in a freewheeling drawing of Adam and Eve being driven from the Garden of Eden by a sword-wielding angel, the whole scene a vortex of primal energy. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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