Van Dyck in Sicily

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Chloe Nelkin visits the exhibition Van Dyck in Sicily: Painting and the Plague, 1624 – 25 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London on view through May 27, 2012.

Nelkin writes that "Van Dyck arrived in Palermo in 1624 expecting to complete a commission," however, she continues, "In May 1624, a ship from Tunis arrived at the busy port of Palermo carrying with it bubonic plague… Surrounded by death, catastrophe and disaster, Van Dyck had little choice but to prolong his stay and, amidst this panic, he set up studio, establishing a practice and producing a variety of works for local clients – many of which are thought to remain undiscovered."

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