Boughton House

June 25 2017

Image of Boughton House

Picture: BG

It was a great treat to film at Boughton House last week for Britain's Lost Masterpieces. In the photo above, you can see us in the drawing room, where all the Van Dyck grisailles are hung; a holy of holies for us Van Dyck fans. 

The attributions for these little monochrome paintings, made as part of the preparations for Van Dyck's series of Iconografie engravings, have swung back and forth over the years. Some of the paintings at Boughton are certainly not by Van Dyck, and have long been accepted as later imitations. But I think the most recent Van Dyck catalogue raisonné, published in 2004, was a little too restrictive in accepting which grisailles were autograph or not. Indeed, the authors of the catalogue did not always agree amongst themselves which works were 'right'.

For example, Horst Vey, the eminent art historians who wrote the relevant 'second Antwerp' period of Van Dyck's career, when the grisailles were painted, rejected the attribution to Van Dyck of the above portrait of Rubens, while Sir Oliver Millar, who wrote the later English section of the catalogue, accepted it. For what it's worth I think Millar was right. The other grisaille of Rubens, below was accepted by both experts. 

There will likely never be unanimity about these works, and nor must there be. But it's a fascinating conundrum. Happily, many questions will soon be answered by the new Jordaens and Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project

Anyway, the point of this post is mainly to tell you that Boughton will soon have its annual summer opening, in August. I highly recommend a trip. More here

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.