Paulus Pontius (1603–1658) after Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Nicolaas Rockox, 1639
Engraving (first state)
10 1/2 × 7 1/8 in. (26.7 × 18.2 cm)
Frits Lugt Collection, Fondation Custodia, Paris
Unlike the other grisailles shown here, Van Dyck’s portrait of Nicolaas Rockox, a towering figure in the political and cultural life of Antwerp, has an unusual round format. It was likely painted for Rockox’s own collection and reflected his interest in ancient coins. Paulus Pontius’s engraving meanwhile embellishes the portrait with an architectural framework and Latin verses by Gaspar Gevaerts that praise Rockox for his unwavering service and indifference to power. These features depart from the Iconographie series and indicate that the engraving was intended to circulate independently.