National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Isabella Brant Sir Anthony van Dyck (painter)
Flemish, 1599 - 1641
Isabella Brant, 1621
oil on canvas
overall: 153 x 120 cm (60 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.) framed: 185.4 x 151.1 cm (73 x 59 1/2 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
On View
From the Tour: Sir Anthony van Dyck
Object 2 of 15

Isabella Brant depicts the first wife of Peter Paul Rubens. Just before Van Dyck left Rubens' studio for Italy, he presented this portrait to his mentor as a gift. The setting is the Italianate garden entrance to Rubens' mansion, an Antwerp landmark designed by the owner himself as one of northern Europe's first classically styled structures. In this affectionate portrait, Van Dyck moved a statue of Minerva to an imaginary position behind Isabella's right shoulder, suggesting a link between his beloved sitter and the classical goddess of wisdom. Isabella Brant died in 1626.

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