© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Anthony van Dyck, Flemish (Antwerp, Belgium 1599 - 1641 London)
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Iconography
Work Type
c. 1626-1633
Physical Descriptions
Etching on off-white antique laid paper
platemark: 24.5 x 15.7 cm (9 5/8 x 6 3/16 in.)
sheet: 26 x 17.5 cm (10 1/4 x 6 7/8 in.)
framed: 57.8 x 47 x 2.5 cm (22 3/4 x 18 1/2 x 1 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • watermark: fleur-de-lys in crowned shield
  • inscription: pen and brown ink below image: Ridder Anthoni van Dÿck
  • inscription: red chalk, lower margin: S
Sir Peter Lely (Lugt 2092). Cledenin J. Ryan, Short Hills, New Jersey, sold [through his sale, Parke Bernet, New York, January 19-20, 1940, lot 112]. Mr. and Mrs. W. Clifford Klenk, Long Island, New York. [Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, February 16, 1979, lot 610]. [R. M. Light & Co., Boston], sold; to Mr. and Mrs. Walter C. Klein, New York, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2008.
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
M.-H. 4; Antwerp/Amsterdam 5
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Walter C. Klein, Class of 1939
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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The Iconography is a collection of portrait prints made after drawings and paintings by van Dyck. Eighteen were etched by the artist himself, although the majority are engravings made by a variety of printmakers. This compilation of portraits of princes, politicians, soldiers, statesmen, scholars, art connoisseurs and most importantly artists, a survey of the most distinguished men and women of his time, went through many editions. The edition published by Martinus van den Enden during van Dyck's lifetime consisted of eighty portraits. Van Dyck prepared these prints by making oil sketches and drawings in black chalk, sometimes washed with brown ink.

Many of these eighteen etched portraits by van Dyck are rare first state impressions, including this one of the artist's Self-Portrait. The majority of the other eighteen are depictions of artists as well, including Jan and Pieter Brueghel, Lucas Vorsterman and Paulus Pontius-important reproductive engravers of Rubens's work, and Cornelis Anthoniszoon.

Label Text: 32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish , written 2014
Printed Portraits

Unlike paintings, printed portraits were multiples, circulated widely. Printmakers used portraiture to experiment with lighting effects and
the depiction of costume and accessories. Portraits could be studies of character and emotion while also presenting the sitters’ status or social aspirations. As a young artist without access to paid models, Rembrandt inspected his own reflection to study countenance and clothing, a practice he continued throughout his career. Presented here are a self-portrait and the etched copper plate from which it was printed.

Rembrandt’s contemporary Anthony van Dyck employed portraiture to record his own bearing and that of fellow artists, their elegant miens and opulent attire affirming their celebrity status. Van Dyck kept his portraits spare, but Rembrandt creates a portrait of the sitter’s world in depicting the apothecary Abraham Francen, an avid collector of prints and drawings, as he examines an artwork in his lavish study.

Portraits sometimes commemorated the achievements of long, successful lives. Records suggest that Jan Lievens’s old man was 112 years old when portrayed, an artist’s opportunity to show the body marked by time. Jacob Matham produced a funerary portrait of his stepfather and mentor, Hendrick Goltzius, within an elaborate tomb-like framework. Impressions of the print are rare, perhaps because it was intended as a tribute distributed among intimates and admirers.

[2008.25.1-2, 2006.168, G461, G462, 2013.44, 1994.120, M22555, G3277]

Publication History

M. Knoedler & Co., The Complete Etched Portrait Work of Anthony Van Dyck from the Collections of Sir Peter Lely and Prosper Henry Lankrink (New York, 1934), cat. no. 4, repr.

Exhibition History

32Q: 2300 Dutch & Flemish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 04/09/2015

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu