Fine Art and Antiques

A protector and friend of Van Dyck, Endymion Porter (1587-1649) was secretary to the Duke of Buckingham and an important diplomat in the English Court. A great lover of the arts, he was in charge of acquiring works for the collection of King Charles I, and was one of Van Dyck’s greatest supporters during the latter’s stay in London.

The aristocrat is shown frontally, wearing white satin, while the painter, dressed in black, is shown in profile and shorter, so that he doesn’t stand out over a member of the aristocracy. The exceptional character of this double portrait is justified by the great affection between the painter and his patron, which is visually reinforced by the position of their hands on the boulder, which symbolizes the strength of their friendship. Moreover, by portraying himself alongside a nobleman, the artist draws attention to his high social standing and indirectly dignifies his artistic work as an noble activity.

This work originally belonged to Endymion Porter’s own collection, then passed through various private collections before appearing in the collection of Queen Isabel Farnesio in 1745.