Thanks to the generosity of the institutions and private collectors who have loaned their works, the Prado Museum
is extending the exhibition The Young Van Dyck for a further month. Sponsored by Fundación BBVA, it can now be seen until 31 March. Described by Robin Blake, author of a biography of the artist, as excellent in his article published in The Financial Times on 23 November, this exhibition on Van Dycks early output is one of the most important to have been devoted to the artist world-wide and the first in Spain to focus entirely on his paintings and drawings. The exhibition includes more than 90 paintings and drawings, all dating from the early period of this Flemish artists career, specifically between 1615, when Van Dyck was only 16 (the exhibition opens with his exquisite Self-portrait at this age), and October 1621 when he moved from his native Antwerp to Italy.
During the approximately six years that Van Dyck spent in Antwerp, until the age of 22, he executed more than 160 paintings, including portraits and medium-size works as well as more than 30 ambitious, large-format compositions. His close relations with Rubens, to whom he acted as assistant, give rise to some of the most interesting art-historical issues of this period of his career: why, for example, did Van Dyck create some works that were intended to resemble his masters as closely as possible, but then distance himself in others, giving his figures a naturalistic appearance that is remote from Rubenss idealisation? The exhibition focuses on such questions and also reveals the remarkably precocious talent of this brilliant artist who would subsequently become one of the most influential portraitists within the history of European art.
In addition, visitors to the Museum will now have longer to enjoy Closed Triptychs in the Museo del Prado. From grisaille to colour, which has been extended until 1 April. This is a didactic exhibition that presents life-size photographs of the little known images on the reverse of some of the Museums Flemish triptychs and panels, which are normally displayed open. It thus offers a unique opportunity to discover hidden aspects of these triptychs and of other works by Early Netherlandish painters such as the Van Eycks, Campin and Van der Weyden.
Displayed alongside the photographs are information panels that include photographs of the triptychs when open and an indication of their location in the galleries of the permanent collection.