circle of Anthony van Dyck, Called Sir John Suckling (1609–1641)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Called Sir John Suckling (1609–1641)
The Duke of York Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 97.5 cm, Overall width: 69.5 cm
circle of Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)
Catalogue Number
  • Inscribed on back of relined canvas: ‘Portrait of Sir John Suckling/ Painted by Dobson./ Obt 1641 Æt. 28./ No 3’


The inscription on the relined canvas – which presumably replicates an earlier identification – identifies the sitter as the poet Sir John Suckling, whose portrait was painted in about 1638 by Van Dyck (Frick Collection, New York, 1918.1.44). This cannot be correct as Suckling had fair, sandy hair, whereas this sitter’s hair is brown, as are his eyes and eyebrows. The costume of the sitter would point to this picture being made c.1640 but the attribution to Dobson is difficult to sustain, and an opinion that this picture may be based on an untraced original portrait by Van Dyck is suggested here.

by Edward Town

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