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Willem de Vos (fl.1593-1629)


Etching by Van Dyck, engraving by Schelte à Bolswert, fifth state (of seven)

In the fifth state the portrait was entirely finished with a burin (the engraving tool) by another printmaker, Schelte à Bolswert. Bolswert's name has been added to the lower right of the margin, followed by the word sculpsit, which means 'engraved'. Bolswert was one of the engravers sought out by Van Dyck to engrave plates for the Iconography, but this print shows that he was also employed later on by the publisher Gillis Hendricx, who published the first posthumous edition of the series, which included Van Dyck's etchings. His initials are apparent in the centre of the margin between the names of Van Dyck and Bolswert.

Bolwsert has regularised Van Dyck's freer etched lines with more uniform engraved ones, creating denser shadows and achieving a clear sense of the folds in the clothing. In addition Bolswert has added to the modelling of De Vos's face. The result is quite successful, but little remains of Van Dyck's delicate touch.

Click on the link below to view this print's record in the Museum's Online Public Access Catalogue