Pieter Brueghel the Younger (c.1564/5-1636)
Etching by Anthony Van Dyck, first state (of six)
Like the self portrait, Snyders and Philippe Le Roy Van Dyck carefully etched Pieter Brueghel's head. He also went further than these compositions in outlining the figure, which is suggested in loose, open forms. The etching was not elaborated upon by subsequent printmakers. Apart from a borderline and an inscription, Van Dyck's etched lines were never strengthened with burin work. A preparatory chalk drawing exists in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, suggesting that Van Dyck drew Brueghel from life. Van Dyck depicts Pieter in a contemplative mood, alone with his own thoughts. He wears a ruff and rests his arm in the folds of a cloak. With this pose, together with the Roman-like apparel, the scroll of paper in his hand and the pillar in the background, Van Dyck achieves the desired level of intellectual dignity for his sitter.
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