Paulus Pontius

etching of man with mustache wearing buttoned shirt with collar, and cloak

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) and an Unidentified Engraver
Paulus Pontius, ca. 1627–30
Etching (second state)
9 1/8 × 7 1/4 in. (23.3 × 18.3 cm
Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Van Dyck’s most fully worked-out etching depicts one of his main engravers with the costume and swagger of a gentleman. In this second state of the print, an unidentified engraver added hatching in the background, but Van Dyck’s masterful graphic treatment of the subject — despite scratches in the plate and other small technical accidents — can still be fully appreciated. Even more than the painting on which it was based, the print takes advantage of the contrast between the sitter’s dark hair and his pale complexion, and between the slashed black doublet and the white linen visible underneath it. Another portrait of Pontius after Van Dyck, which the former engraved himself, is shown here.

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