Portrait Study of Henrietta of Lorraine

black and white chalk drawing of woman in dress on paper with top corners cut

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Portrait Study of Henrietta of Lorraine, 1634
Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on light gray (formerly blue) paper
22 5/8 × 12 in. (57.3 × 30.2 cm)
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy

While in Brussels in 1634, Van Dyck painted portraits of Henrietta and Marguerite of Lorraine, sisters who had sought refuge there following Marguerite’s clandestine marriage to Gaston, Duke of Orleans and younger brother of Louis XIII of France. Here, the artist used rapid strokes of black chalk and white heightening (the latter now largely abraded) to document the fall of fabric in the sitter’s gown, the angle of her body, and the position of her hands. He often used blue paper from his years in Italy on, as is evident from several other sheets. While he paid close attention to the bulbous sleeves, lace cuffs, and narrowly tapering stomacher, his rendering of the sitter’s face is almost cartoonish and bears little resemblance to her appearance in the final painting.

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