Marie de Raet
  • Date: 1631
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 213.3 x 114.5 cm
  • Object size: 253 x 163 x 13 cm
  • Inv: P79
  • Location: Great Gallery
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Further Reading
  • Long acknowledged as two of Van Dyck’s greatest works, these paintings are the finest portraits of his second Antwerp period (1627–32). Philippe Le Roy (1596–1679) was the grandson of a successful Antwerp gunpowder manufacture and his financial acumen allowed him to rise in the world. In 1631, he married Marie de Raet (1614–1662), the sixteen-year-old daughter of François de Raet, almoner of Antwerp.

    Le Roy probably commissioned this pair of portraits from Van Dyck to mark this union, his own portrait celebrating his betrothal to Marie de Raet in 1630. By commissioning an expensive, full-length portrait, the sitter made clear from the outset his wish to be portrayed in the grand manner. Van Dyck succeeded triumphantly in creating an image which matched Le Roy’s grand ambition, whilst embodying contemporary courtly ideals.

    The painting is one of the few works to which Van Dyck added his signature. Marie de Raet was painted the following year to celebrate the couple’s marriage. She is depicted in the trappings of nobility, embodying her new husband’s wealth and taste, and is all the more charming for her air of innocence and vulnerability, which shines through the pomp. The portraits were acquired by the 4th Marquess in 1850.