The tale of Rupert Bear begins with the story of the Caldwell Family. The Caldwell’s were a...
Sir Basil Dixwell by Sir Anthony van Dyck
Arguably a pearl in The Beaney’s collection, Van Dyck’s portrait of Sir Basil Dixwell (1638) was acquired by The Beaney in 2004, and is an excellent example of the refined painting style that went on to have a dominant influence on portraiture in England for 150 years.
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders, became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family, and subsequently remains one of the most renowned painters of his time.
This particular portrait depicts Sir Basil Dixwell (1545-1642), a wealthy landowner, Member of Parliament and Sherriff of Kent. He was also the builder of Broome Park, located near to Canterbury, a project which would have cost the equivalent of around a billion pounds today.
It is a testament to his considerable wealth and standing that Dixwell’s likeness was captured by the much sought after van Dyck; which was made further evident by his choice of such rich and opulent attire.