Philippe Le Roy (1596-1679)
Etching by Anthony Van Dyck, second state (of nine)
The etching is after Van Dyck's full length painting of Le Roy with a dog at his side dating from 1630 (Wallace collection, London). The painting was commissioned to celebrate the sitter's betrothal to the young Marie de Raet (1614-1662), who also sat for Van Dyck. Like the self portrait and Snyders this early impression shows that Van Dyck started the portrait with the head alone. The curls of Le Roy's hair are similar to those in the self portrait, but here the reserves etching convey shine, whereas in former the aim is to evoke a light colour. If you look carefully you will be able to see an indented area to the right of his chin. This is an area of foul biting (see technical terms above), where acid has accidentally penetrated the etching ground. In this case, the ink has been wiped out of the area, to prevent the portrait being printed with a distracting inky blotch.
Click on the link below to view this print's record in the Museum's Online Public Access Catalogue