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Lucas Vorsterman (1595-1675)

Lucas Vorsterman and his pupil Paulus Pontius were two of the most skilled engravers of the age. Vorsterman worked with Rubens in his studio, reproducing the master's paintings, until a violent quarrel ended their relationship. It seems that the most gifted of Rubens' engravers also had a highly volatile temperament. Rubens' letters give an insight into the split: he wrote that Vorsterman, rather immodestly, insisted that it was his engraving skills alone that gave Ruben's prints any value! Slightly later he lamented that no printing had been done in his studio "on account of the mental disorder of my engraver". Before the quarrel, Rubens had agreed to be godfather to Vorsterman's eldest son, while Van Dyck became godfather to his daughter, christened Antonia. In 1624 Vorsterman went to England and survived on the patronage of royalty and nobility. He returned to Antwerp and was one of the printmakers selected by Van Dyck to engrave plates for the Iconography. He executed twenty two of the original eighty plates.

Click here to see two states of the portrait print