This picture is one of the brightest in the work of the painter. But it is fraught with a certain riddle. It’s hard enough to resist the charm of this wonderful portrait. His power is really intriguing. It helps to awaken the imagination, the desire to conceive characters. The viewer wants to come up with the life story of this family.
The longer we look at these faces, the more difficult it is to understand their expressions. A shadow, which is inexplicable, is quite visible in them. But this is the factual side of the matter, not the picturesque one.
We want, by all means, to find out who is in front of us. We strive to understand this person with a pale face and a look that expresses meekness. He leaned on the back of a luxurious leather chair.
The image created by Van Dyck is surprising. The artist was able to show that a person is imbued with happiness. But it is precisely this which presupposes printing. Somewhere in the depths, anxiety lurks, a premonition of a disaster that could very well happen very soon. It feels like disaster looms over fragile happiness. A man seeks to protect her child and wife from her. He is going to take the whole blow only on himself.
This drama of love is truly impressive. A child and a woman are secondary characters. The center of the portrait is a man. If the viewer is very attentive, then he can even see that his figure is highlighted even compositionally. It is written as if in a different space. Of course, it has contact with the one in which two other characters of the picture are written, but its existence is completely isolated.
If we were given to know who is in front of us, we could find out if the artist could foresee the danger that, like a black spot, hangs over this family. Or maybe he, like many portrait painters, in vain attributed false fears to this father of the family.
In the portrait you can feel the sad look of the artist, who from the side watched the state of mind of his heroes. This creation reflected the split soul of the painter. She pursued him throughout her life.
Cezanne Players Cards