Skip to main content
Lord John Stuart and his Brother, Lord Bernard Stuart
Anthony van Dyck
/

This life-size double portrait shows the youngest sons of the 3rd Duke of Lennox: Lord John Stuart, on the left, with his brother Lord Bernard Stuart. They were only about 17 and 18 but they ooze aristocratic superiority and are dressed in extravagant fashion.

Van Dyck’s ability to evoke the textures of silk and satin was one reason his portraits were so popular with the aristocracy at the time. Here he has enhanced the effects further by using the clear lines and muted colours of the background as a foil for the folds and rich colours of the fabrics.

He has also evoked a tension in the brothers' relationship. They stand close, their postures overlapping, each with his left hand on his hip and his torso turned towards the other. But their eyes do not meet. One leans back rather passively, while the other, who looks directly us, takes an active step forward, his spurs and sword clearly on display.

Key facts
Artist Anthony van Dyck
Artist dates 1599 - 1641
Full title Lord John Stuart and his Brother, Lord Bernard Stuart
Date made about 1638
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 237.5 x 146.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1988
Inventory number NG6518
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo