Work was stolen by Nazis at outbreak of the Second World War
The portrait of painter Cornelis de Vos, his wife Suzanna Cock and children Magdalena and Jan-Baptist will be part of Sotheby’s Old Masters evening sale in London today (Wednesday 7 July).
The artwork was first sold in 1868 to Sir Francis Cock before being bought by Dutchman Nathan Katz in the Thirties.
It was then stolen by the Nazis at the outbreak of the Second World War, but was later recovered and returned to the Katz family.
The work was later sold to art patron Emil Georg Buhrle. It is estimated to sell for between £1m to £1.5m.
Art expert Nora de Poorta said of the painting in 2004: “This singular family portrait was executed in the virtuoso technique van Dyck employed when speed was of the essence: bold brushstrokes very thinly painted over a brownish underground that frequently shows through.”
The seventh child of a wealthy silk merchant, van Dyck was considered the most important Flemish painter of the 17th Century after Rubens and was best known for his portraits of the aristocracy.
After achieving success as an independent painter in his late teens, he became a Master in the Antwerp guild in 1618.
He returned to London in 1632 after working around Europe, at the request of Charles I of England, to become the lead court artist.
He died in 1641 and was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, a mark of his illustrious status in England.
Additional reporting by Press Association