Not Van Dyck at Downton?

September 22 2014

Image of Not Van Dyck at Downton?

Picture: ITV

Downton Abbey is back for its latest series, and very enjoyable it is too. I've noticed a couple of times in the press that mention is made of Highclere Castle's (where the series is filmed) 'Van Dyck' of Charles I on horseback with M. de St Antoine, seen above. The latest is in the Daily Express, where cast member Kevin Doyle tells how the cast and crew take extra care around the picture, which is reportedly valued at £17m. Highclere Castle's own website also calls the picture 'Van Dyck'. I have never seen the picture in the flesh, but it is very clearly listed as a copy in Sir Oliver Millar's catalogue raisonne of Van Dyck's English period works. The original is here, in the Royal Collection.

Millar lists a number of copies after Van Dyck at Highclere, including a detail of the large portrait of Charles I's five children, which you can see just by Carson's head in the photo above.

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