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Anthony van Dyck: 'The Balbi Children'

Van Dyck used Genoa as his base during his six-year stay in Italy and spent most of 1625-7 in the city enjoying great success as a portraitist. This work, traditionally entitled 'The Balbi Children' because it belonged to the 18th-century collector, Costantino Balbi, shows three young aristocratic Genoese children who remain unidentified. It has been suggested that they are members of the de Franchi family, whose arms contained a black crow, but there is no documentary evidence to support this claim.