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Van Dyck as an etcher

The Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) did not leave behind a large body of work in the printed medium. He produced only nineteen etchings, seventeen of which are portraits, and it is on these that this virtual exhibition concentrates exclusively. When we consider that Rembrandt's oeuvre comprises three hundred different subjects, Van Dyck's output can not be considered even a moderate one. However, the portrait prints of his fellow artists and members of the close knit artistic community of Antwerp confirm Van Dyck's mastery as an etcher. His hand is intimately revealed in the expertly drafted features of his contemporaries, composed with rapid strokes of the etching needle, wielded as easily as if he were working with pen and ink. Van Dyck's lines, full of energy and enthusiasm for both subject and print medium, charge the images with an irresistible force.

The pages under the heading Van Dyck as an etcher provide some background information to the prints' production, while those under View the etchings take a more detailed look at the portraits themselves.