Sir Patrick Stewart photographed as classic van Dyck painting

'Sir Patrick Stewart in Three Positions' by Rory Lewis
'Sir Patrick Stewart in Three Positions' by Rory Lewis

Sir Patrick Stewart is the subject of a new work of fine art portraiture, shot in the style of legendary Flemish painter Sir Anthony van Dyck, by British celebrity photographer Rory Lewis. 

Most famous for his turns as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor X in the X-Men movies, Stewart has become a pop culture icon. However, as a staple of the Royal Shakespeare Company for 16 years, his career is steeped in tradition – so it's fitting that he was asked to sit for a portrait in the style of a classical baroque portrait. 

 Photography tips: studio portrait lighting setups 

'Charles I in Three Positions' by Sir Anthony van Dyck

'Charles I in Three Positions' by Sir Anthony van Dyck

Lewis was commissioned to photograph the star in New York, in the triple portrait style of van Dyck's famed oil painting 'Charles I in Three Positions', which is currently in the Royal Collection and was the basis for Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini's marble bust of the monarch.

The historic work by England's leading court painter, created in 1635 or 1636, depicts the King of England in three positions: full profile from the left, face-on, and three-quarter profile from the right.

Stewart as Stuart

Lewis' interpretation of the Stuart-era painting captures Stewart in three-quarter profile from both sides, with the photographer directing the actor to give a variety of theatrical and more serious expressions. 

“What emerged from the session was a complex and vigorous character, embodied by energy and animation; a side of Sir Patrick that I thoroughly enjoyed watching unfold in front of my lens,” said Lewis, who found the unique sitting challenging but was satisfied with his presentation of the star "in a coherent state of mind". 

Rory Lewis photographs Patrick Stewart in New York

Rory Lewis photographs Patrick Stewart in New York

Ten limited edition prints of the portrait, each individually numbered and signed, will be issued by the photographer, costing $279. More information about 'Sir Patrick Stewart in Three Positions' can be found on Lewis' website (opens in new tab).

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.