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Portrait miniature - Antoine Triest, Bishop of Ghent
  • Antoine Triest, Bishop of Ghent
    Beale, Charles the younger, born 1660 - died 1714
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Antoine Triest, Bishop of Ghent

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1679 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beale, Charles the younger, born 1660 - died 1714 (painter (artist))
    Anthony van Dyck, born 1599 - died 1641 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on pasteboard

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by the Reverend Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 6

Object Type
In England miniatures were usually portraits painted from life. But in the 1620s at the request of Charles I, the miniaturist Peter Oliver painted copies of oil paintings in the King's collection. Charles was a great connoisseur and this request reflects the value he placed on his collection and on the exquisite watercolour art of miniature painting. This established the tradition of copying great paintings in miniature.

Horace Walpole was a collecter, particularly of portraits. His collection of miniatures was in his own words 'the largest and finest in the country'. Although this miniature was sold at the sale held at Walpole's home in 1842, unfortunately it is not mentioned in Walpole's own catalogue in 1784, nor in the 1800 catalogue compiled after his death. So it is unclear if it actually belonged to Walpole.

Ownership & Use
Walpole's interest in this miniature would have been as much with the sitter as the artist. Antoine Triest was a notable collector and friend of artists such as van Dyck. Walpole avidly collected likenesses of the famous and often commissioned copies himself. In contrast, Charles Beale probably painted his copy in miniature of this famous image as a homage to the painterly skill of van Dyck. He probably copied an oil copy belonging to his father who referred in his diary to 'my bishops picture of Van Dykes'.

Physical description

Portrait of a man, turned to left, looking to front and wearing a red cloak. Features in soft, very regular and distinct stipples of pale brown and sanguine blended with grey and blue, with gummy black in the eyes and nostrils and white in the eyes and facial hair on a pale creamy carnation ground; hair in pale brown wash modelled with dark grey and white; collar modelled in grey and brown over a pale grey wash, with some white heightening; cloak in a solid pink wash, modelled in darker colour and with the lights in white; background a solid brown wash floated horizontally; on pasteboard.

Frame: Nineteenth-century rectangular copper-gilt rim, of shallow V-section: toothed copper strips to close back; of the type designed for a push-fit into a velvet-covered board.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1679 (painted)


Beale, Charles the younger, born 1660 - died 1714 (painter (artist))
Anthony van Dyck, born 1599 - died 1641 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on pasteboard

Marks and inscriptions

Signed in gold, lower centre left


Height: 79 mm, Width: 66 mm

Object history note

Provenance: Putatively at Strawberry Hill (for that provenance see Cat. No. 148); sale 14 May 1842, 18th day, lot 156 (as Archbishop of Antwerp), bt Rodd, £ 1; acquired by the Revd Alexander Dyce, perhaps from Rodd or an intermediary, and by him bequeathed to the Museum, 1869.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of Antoine Triest, Bishop of Ghent, watercolour on board, by Charles Beale the younger after Van Dyck, 1679.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth- century English Miniatures in the Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1997.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Walpole collected likenesses of famous individuals. 'The collection of miniatures and enamels is, I believe, the largest and finest in any country' wrote Walpole in his guide to Strawberry Hill. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Signed and dated 1679





Subjects depicted



Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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