Christ Church Picture Gallery

A few weeks ago my beloved and I visited Oxford’s Christ Church Picture Gallery, she for the very first time and I for the first time in many years. The bunker-like building houses one of the finest small collections of Old Master paintings and drawings in the country. For me the gem of the collection is van Dyck’s A Soldier on Horseback. This is little more than a sketch snipped from an unfinished larger work yet motion, form, light and texture are all evoked with beautiful economy. A true virtuoso of the brush, van Dyck here foreshadows centuries of painterly preoccupation. Delacroix or Degas could have done no better.


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