Skip to main content

The National Gallery Van Dycks: Technique and Development

Ashok Roy
Technical Bulletin Volume 20, 1999


A survey is presented of eight Van Dycks at the National Gallery, London, which have undergone technical analysis. Many detailed illustrations, X-ray details, and infrared photographs illustrate the construction of each painting and the results obtained from cross sections are presented.

Van Dyck generally used a coloured ground, simple underdrawing found in one case to be in umber or Cassel earth, and a typical range of materials for the 17th century. His use of glazes in many instances, and of mixtures for purple areas and flesh tones, is discussed in relation to the paintings. In general, Van Dyck's paint application was direct.


Anthony van Dyck, artists' materials, cross sections, infrared photography, oil paintings, painting techniques, radiography

Download article

The National Gallery Van Dycks: Technique and Development, Ashok Roy (PDF 16.89MB)

To cite this article we suggest using

Roy, A. 'The National Gallery Van Dycks: Technique and Development'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 20, pp 50–83.

Problems opening files? Get Adobe Reader [External link]