Born in modern day Antwerp, Belgium and inspired by the work of Peter Paul Rubens, van Dyck would receive some extraordinary commissions during his peak.

The best known of his high profile portraits were several capturing Charles I and his court. It was the natural ability of a young Anthony, combined with a passionate study of the workings of previous members of the Italian Renaissance that helped him to achieve such an outstanding reputation.

The artist would divide his time between Italy, the Netherlands and England in order to balance business with study. Titian was famously a key name in his development and someone he studied from home in the early years of his development.

This Flemish painter would move to England in the early 1730s before helping to raise the standards of portraiture, with his work for the family of Charles I. He had earlier achieved a similar impact in the Italian city of Genoa.

Beyond his respected portraiture, he also took on biblical and mythological subjects too. There was also significant contributions as a draughtsman, plus watercolour and etching.

Anthony van Dyck was just one of a number of famous names from the Flemish/Netherlandish region of Europe over several centuries. Many of these were linked to the Dutch Golden Age. Key names included Albrecht Durer, Pieter Bruegel, Vermeer, van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch.