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Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)
Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)

Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola (1569-1630), full-length, in armour, wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece, holding a baton in his right hand, his left hand resting on the hilt of his sword

Details
Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London)
Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola (1569-1630), full-length, in armour, wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece, holding a baton in his right hand, his left hand resting on the hilt of his sword
oil on canvas
87 1/8 x 49¾ in. (221 x 126.4 cm.)
Provenance
by decent through the sitter's family to the following,
Prince Centurione Scotto, Genoa; Sangiorgi, Rome, 6 May 1903, lot 44.
Dr. Adolf Hommel, Zürich; Lempertz (formerly Heberle); Zürich, 19-20 August 1909, lot 43.
Hippolyt Saurer, Schloss Eugensberg, Arbon; Uto, Zürich, 14-16 October 1974, lot 542, when acquired by the present owner.
Literature
M. Menotti, 'Van Dyck a Genova', Archivio Storico dell'Arte, III, 1897, pp. 442-3.
L. Cust, Anthony van Dyck: An Historical Study of His Life and Works, London, 1900, p. 243, no. 120.
G. Glück, Van Dyck, des Meisters Gemälde, Klassiker der Kunst, 13, Stuttgart, New York & London, 1931, p. 551, no. 295.
H. Vey, Die Zeichnungen Anton van Dycks, Brussels, 1962, under no. 177.
H. Vey, in S. Barnes et al., Van Dyck. A complete catalogue of the paintings, New Haven and London, 2004, p. 412, no. III.A25.

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Freddie De Rougemont

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Lot Essay

This striking full-length portrait of Ambrogio Spinola is described by Horst Vey as 'a good repetition of the lost prime version' (op. cit., 2004), a work that was painted shortly after van Dyck's return to Antwerp at the end of 1627.

Marchese Ambrogio Spinola (1569-1630) belonged to the most ancient of the four great families of Genoa. He followed his brother, Federigo, into the service of the King of Spain and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces of King Phillip III in the Low Countries, taking Ostend after a two year siege in 1604. For this he was awarded the Golden Fleece. In 1605 he forced Prince Maurice of Nassau to raise the siege of Ghent, taking the provinces of Frisia and Ober-Yssel. Peace with the Dutch was finally achieved in 1607. In 1620, on the outbreak of the Thirty Years War, Spinola conquered the Lower Palatinate and a year later he returned to the Low Countries, taking Julier and besieging Bergen-op-Zoom, the retreat from which he commanded with great skill. The climax of his military career was the siege of Breda, which finally surrendered on 5 June 1625: Velázquez's great commemoration of this event in the Prado gives an extraordinary idea of Spinola's unusual combination of authority and courtesy. Spinola was recalled to Madrid in 1628; en route he advised King Louis XIII about his conduct of the siege of La Rochelle. The outbreak of the War of Mantuan Succession led to his return to Italy where he died during the siege of Casale.






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