Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Manuel Frockas, 1631–32 (?)
Oil on panel
8 1/4 × 6 1/4 in. (21 × 15.9 cm)
The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE, Boughton House, Northamptonshire
Van Dyck’s Iconographie series of prints includes three Spanish generals whose military careers brought them to Flanders, among them, Manuel Frockas, Count of Feria. Simplicity of composition and relatively cursory execution distinguish these generals’ portrait drawings, likely all made from life in 1631–32. While the drawings appear to depict the sitters in civilian dress, the later oil sketches and engravings show them in full armor, each holding a commander’s baton. Like the hands that enliven the compositions, these features were probably all added from memory or invented by the artist.