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Frans Francken, the Elder (1542-1616)

Francken was a member of the older generation of artists etched by Van Dyck. In fact Francken's death in 1616 means that Van Dyck must have relied on existing portraits for his etching. Francken was registered in the Guild of St Luke as master in 1567. He painted large altarpieces and smaller 'cabinet' pictures, a genre which was perfected by his sons who all became artists. After the iconoclastic destruction of Catholic monuments and pictures in Antwerp in the 1560s, Francken was commissioned to paint replacements and he became one of the leading artists of the period.

Click here to see two states of the portrait print