About this artwork

The still young Saint Martin a Roman officer once cut his cloak in two pieces to give a half to a naked beggar, so says the medieval story. As usual in painting, he is here on horseback. This artistically valuable work was preserved in situ. Van Dyck's very famous painting is atypical at the same time. It is one of the most rubensian works he ever made: both the figures and the technique and style are entirely inspired by Rubens. The work is also important as a witness from the period when the approximately 20yearold Van Dyck worked in Rubens's studio. Presumably Rubens got the assignment and moved him to his most gifted student. * This early work by Van Dyck is based on an oil sketch say: a design by Rubens. It is a unique testimony to the collaboration between these two top artists.

About the artist