Frans Snyders (1579-1657)
Etching by Anthony Van Dyck, first state (of seven)
In 1621, ten years after their marriage, Van Dyck was commissioned to paint portraits of Snyders and Margaretha. The painting of Snyders (Frick collection, New York) is the source from which the etching derives. As with his self portrait, Van Dyck began by etching the head only on the plate. Both the painting and the etching are sensitive portrayals of a man for whom Van Dyck clearly had the deepest respect. With a bone structure that conforms to an aristocratic type, Snyders is presented as a member of the gentility and as an intellectual. The silvery colour of the ink of this impression heightens the delicacy of Van Dyck's handling.
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