Van Dyck masterpiece back in Spain after 200 years

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A newspaper report said the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian painting has been returned to a monastery in Madrid after 200 years.

MADRID – Flemish master Antoon Van Dyck's celebrated painting Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian has been returned to Spain's Escorial monastery after a two-century absence, El Pais newspaper said Saturday.

The work by the artist, a student of Rubens who was also a leading court painter in Britain, was located at the monastery northwest of Madrid from 1656 to 1809 before disappearing.

It was found in 1930 in a collection in the French city of Lyon. In 2000, auction house Christie's sold it in London.

In 2008, Spain bought it from London gallery Weiss for EUR 2.5 million, according to El Pais.

According to El Pais, Spanish painter Diego Velazquez, a contemporary of Van Dyck's, had chosen "Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" to decorate the walls of the Escorial monastery. Velazquez painted for the Spanish royal court at the time.

The painting was returned on Friday to the same place chosen by Velazquez, in an area of the monastery now open to the public.

Van Dyck completed some 800 paintings before his death at the age of 42 in 1641.

[AFP / Expatica]

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