Anthony van Dyck, Constantin Huygens, c. 1675

Signed Anthony van Dyck engraving, Constantin Huygens, c. 1675

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Artist:Anthony van Dyck (1599 - 1641)

Title:Constantin Huygens, c. 1675

Medium:Original Engraving

Image Size:9 7/8 in x 6 7/8 in (25.1 cm x 17.5 cm)

Sheet Size:9 7/8 in x 6 7/8 in (25.1 cm x 17.5 cm)

Framed Size:approx. 23 in x 20 in (58.4 cm x 50.8 cm)

Edition:A Mauquoy-Hendrickx State VI (of VI) engraved by Paulus Pontius (Antwerp, 1603 - Antwerp, 1658) in collaboration with Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1559 - London, 1641); printed on a fine paper with the Foolscap with Seven Pointed Collar watermark (Mauquoy-Hendrickx no. 132), dating the piece to c. 1675.

Signature:Signed in the plate 'Ant. van dyck pinxit' in the lower left; also signed 'Paul. Pontius fculp' in the plate in the lower left of the image.

Condition:This work is in very good condition; slight tape remnants on verso with minute paper skin in lower left corner; unidentified notation on back.

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Gallery Price:
Item # 3721
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Historical Description of this artwork

A wonderfully detailed and charismatic portrait, this exquisite work illustrates the technical mastery and artistic vision of Van Dyck. Constantin Huygen’s stately yet approachable expression reflects Van Dyck’s refined ability to comfort and relax his subjects, resulting in a realistic and acute portrait. Huygens was a Dutch Golden Age poet and composer. He was secretary to two princes of Orange: Frederick Henry (1584 – 1647) and William II (1626 – 1650). He was also the father of famed scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629 – 1695). Costantin Huygens was well trained in art, music, and language and even became a French knight. His work was greatly affected by his wife’s death, which sent him into a spiral of grief for many months, but he recovered to continue his poetry writing, making friends with such famous figures as Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) and Rembrandt (1606 – 1669). Van Dyck depicts Huygens against a clouded background, his hand resting on a large anthology that perhaps contains his poems or compositions. He dons a multi-colored garb, gazing calmly out a the viewer.

This portrait is a Mauquoy-Hendrickx State VI (of VI) engraved by Paulus Pontius (Antwerp, 1603 – Antwerp, 1658) in collaboration with Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1559 – London, 1641) as part of his Iconographie series of engraved portraits of famous people at the time. The plate has been marked in the lower left of the plate “Paul. Pontius fculp” and beneath that “Ant. van dyck pinxit.” Also marked “cum privilegio” in the lower right of the plate. Beneath the engraved portrait is the inscription: D. CONSTANTINVS HVGENS EQVES | TOPARCHA SVYLECOM. This piece is printed on a fine paper with the Foolscap with Seven Pointed Collar watermark (Mauquoy-Hendrickx no. 132), dating the piece to c. 1675.


1) Mauquoy-Hendrickx. L’Iconographie d’Antoine Van Dyck: Catalogue Raisonne I. Bruxelles: Bibliotheque Royale Albert I, 1991. Listed as catalogue no. 53 on pg. 138.

2) Mauquoy-Hendrickx. L’Iconographie d’Antoine Van Dyck: Catalogue Raisonne II. Bruxelles: Bibliotheque Royale Albert I, 1991. Illustrated as catalogue no. 53 on pg. 36.

3) A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.


Framed to archival museum grade conservation standards, this piece is framed in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

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Artistic Styles of van Dyck

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Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)

Anthony van Dyck Biography

Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish painter who was one of the most important and prolific portraitists of the 17th century. He is also considered to be one of the most brilliant colorists in the history of art.

Van Dyck was born on March 22, 1599, in Antwerp, son of a rich silk merchant, and his precocious artistic talent was already obvious at age 11, when he was apprenticed to the Flemish historical painter Hendrik van Balen. He was admitted to the Antwerp guild of painters in 1618, before his 19th birthday. He spent the next two years as a member of the workshop of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp. Van Dyck’s work during this period is in the lush, exuberant style of Rubens, and several paintings attributed to Rubens have since been ascribed to van Dyck.

From 1620 to 1627 van Dyck traveled in Italy, where he was in great demand as a portraitist and where he developed his maturing style. He toned down the Flemish robustness of his early work to concentrate on a more dignified, elegant manner. In his portraits of Italian aristocrats—men on prancing horses, ladies in black gowns—he created idealized figures with proud, erect stances, slender figures, and the famous expressive “van Dyck” hands. Influenced by the great Venetian painters Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Giovanni Bellini, he adopted colors of great richness and jewel-like purity. No other painter of the age surpassed van Dyck at portraying the shimmering whites of satin, the smooth blues of silk, or the rich crimsons of velvet. He was the quintessential painter of aristocracy, and was particularly successful in Genoa. There he showed himself capable of creating brilliantly accurate likenesses of his subjects, while he also developed a repertoire of portrait types that served him well in his later work at the court of Charles I of England.

Back in Antwerp from 1627 to 1632, van Dyck worked as a portraitist and a painter of church pictures. In 1632 he settled in London as chief court painter to King Charles I, who knighted him shortly after his arrival. Van Dyck painted most of the English aristocracy of the time, and his style became lighter and more luminous, with thinner paint and more sparkling highlights in gold and silver. At the same time, his portraits occasionally showed a certain hastiness or superficiality as he hurried to satisfy his flood of commissions. In 1635 van Dyck painted his masterpiece, Charles I in Hunting Dress (Louvre, Paris), a standing figure emphasizing the haughty grace of the monarch.

Van Dyck was one of the most influential 17th-century painters. He set a new style for Flemish art and founded the English school of painting; the portraitists Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough of that school were his artistic heirs. He died in London on December 9, 1641.

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