Vandyke Cross, SE9

Place Name

Sir Anthony van Dyck (March 22, 1599 – December 9, 1641) was a Flemish artist who became the leading court painter at the time of Charles I. In 1636 the king gave him a suite of unoccupied rooms at Eltham Palace, which by this time had replaced Greenwich Palace as the royal’s favourite country retreat. Four years earlier the king had taken on van Dyck as “principalle Paynter in ordinary of their Majesties” and to seal the deal gave him a golden chain and an annual salary of £200. It was during his time at Eltham that Van Dyck concentrated almost exclusively on painting portraits which many critics believe were the best of his career. This street was laid out on former agricultural land that had belonged to Lyme Farm. It is somewhat unusual in that the road does form a cross, with the parts running east to west forming cul-de-sacs.

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