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Past Exhibition

Sebastiaan Vrancx

black chalk drawing of man in profile with mustache and beard, wearing lace collar

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Sebastiaan Vrancx, ca. 1628–31
Black chalk
10 1/16 × 7 3/8 in. (25.6 × 18.7 cm)
The British Museum, London

Mainly known for his small landscape paintings and drawings featuring battles and robberies, Sebastiaan Vrancx was also a book illustrator, poet, playwright, and member of Antwerp’s militia. Van Dyck’s drawing of Vrancx appears to have been made from life: apart from his face and right sleeve, the draftsmanship is not very detailed. In a gesture toward Vrancx’s military duties, his right hand emphasizes his sword, of which only the summarily indicated hilt is visible. The drawing probably did not serve as the direct model for the printmaker, whose plate would have required the more detailed guidance of an oil sketch.