James the Great

Related Artist: Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641)

Private Collection on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston

© 2021 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston James the Great

Object details


James the Great

Technique and support

Oil on panel


62.0 x 46.0 cm


Related artist

Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641)

Most recent published attribution

Van Dyck [always]

Collection and provenance


Private Collection on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston

Inv. no.

United States


Probably from the collection of Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland (1641-1702);
thence by descent to the 8th Earl Spencer (1924-1992), Althorp;
with Colnaghi, London, 1984;
private collection, Switzerland.



Althorp 1746, nos. 339-42 (“Five of the Apostles by Van Dyck”);
Althorp 1750, (“Five of the Apostles by Van Dyck”, in the Great Parlour);
Dibdin 1822, p. 275;
Althorp 1851, no. 260;
Cust 1900, p. 233, under no. 9;
Bode 1906, p. 257;
Schaeffer 1909, p. 3-right;
Oldenbourg 1914-5, pp. 225, 227, 230-1;
Rosenbaum 1928a, pp. 37-43;
Glück 1931, p. 523, n.43-right;
London 1947, no. 38;
Van Puyvelde 1950a, pp. 121-2;
London 1953-4, no. 217;
Bruges 1956, no. 83;
Vey 1959b, p. 92;
Nottingham 1960, no. 2;
King’s Lynn 1963, no. 2;
Althorp 1976, p. 19, no. 140 (256);
Roland 1983, pp. 24, 29;
Roland 1984, p. 218;
Ottawa 1980a, pp. 38-9;
London 1984, no. 41;
London/New York 1986, no.2;
Larsen 1988, II, no. 152;
Tel Aviv 1995-6, no. 4;
Antwerp/London 1999, no. 3;
Barnes et al. 2004, p. 79, no. I.75 (N. De Poorter);
Madrid 2012-13, pp. 44, fig. 13, 45, 57;
New York 2016, pp. 10-11, fig. 12.

Consult the bibliography

Panel reverse

Cradled or uncradled

Uncradled but with a strip of lint in the middle of the panel over the join between the two planks

Guild marks

Castle and Two Hands - separate branding irons

Panel maker's mark

None visible, possibly obscured under the strip of lint

Wax seals

Red wax seal with the Spencer coat of arms

Planks of the same tree


Date of investigation

30 April 2019



A dendrochronological examination was not permitted by the private owner


Drs. Justin Davies

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