Hendrick van Balen

black chalk drawing of portrait of man in lace collar, cloak, mustache and beard

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Hendrick van Balen, 1627–32
Black chalk
9 5/8 × 7 3/4 in. (24.3 × 19.8 cm)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The rolls of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke for the year 1610 list Van Dyck as an apprentice with the guild’s dean, the painter Hendrick van Balen. Nearly two decades later, Van Dyck focused his attention on his teacher’s craggy face and wispy hair, only roughing out his costume and hands. In a grisaille oil sketch at Boughton House, Van Dyck subsequently fleshed out this composition, clarifying the sculpted head on which Van Balen rests his hand and situating him in front of a column. The inventory of Van Balen’s widow lists a number of plaster casts after antique sculptures; these may have inspired the one included in this portrait.

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