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Paulus Pontius (1603-1658)


Etching by Anthony Van Dyck and engraving by an unknown printmaker, sixth state (of eight)

The identity of the printmaker who reworked the plate with engraved lines is not known. In the background, vertical etched lines have been added over the horizontal lines, forming a grid. The whole of Pontius' figure has been 'tidied' to create better contrast between the light and dark areas. The etched lines of the face have been made more uniform, and efforts have been made to correct the technical imperfections. The shape of Pontius' chin has also been altered, and contour lines have been added to rest of the face. Punched dots have been added most noticeably to the forehead and nose. These are very different to the stippling effect created with an etching needle by Van Dyck, for example, in his self portrait. The initials in the margin are those of Gillis Henrdricx, who acquired the plates in 1645 and included impressions from them in his edition of the Iconography.

This print is from an album entitled "Van Dyck Etchings and their states, by an Amateur". A note in the beginning of the album explains that it is a unique, deluxe edition of photogravures of Van Dyck's etchings, being the only one printed on drawing paper and furnished with twenty-seven impressions of the etchings and 'doubtful' attributions.