Dobson's self portrait at Osterley Park

October 30 2014

Video: ZCZ films

The Great Waldemar has made a short film about the return of William Dobson's self-portrait to Osterley Park, where it used to hang (when that house belonged to the Earls of Jersey) alongside Van Dyck's late English self-portrait now in the National Portrait Gallery.

The Dobson still belongs to the present Lord Jersey, who has generously lent the Dobson to Osterley (now a National Trust house) for ten years. You can see from the close-ups in this film just how much of a homage Dobson was paying to Van Dyck in the painting, not only in the composition but also in terms of the technique; it's about as Van Dyck-ian as Dobson gets.

The film also reminds me that the Dobson is in better condition than the Van Dyck, possibly on account of Dobson's slightly thicker painting style. Some of the glazes in the Van Dyck have become a little abraded, and the background has become substantially darker over time; its original colour is quite a bit lighter.  

Waldemar is also as obessed with Dobson as I am about Van Dyck. I'm hoping that's him singing at the beginning. But I doubt it.

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