The School of Van Dyck Etchings and Engravings

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The School of Van Dyck Biography

Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1559 - London, 1641) collaborated with masterful engravers to create his remarkable Iconography series, a large and extensive series of prints with half-length portraits of eminent contemporaries. Van Dyck produced drawings and, for eighteen of the portraits, he himself engraved the plates with the heads and the main outlines of the figures with much skill. However, for most of the series, he left the printmaking work to specialists who engraved the plates based on Van Dyck's own drawings. The series was highly successful and exists as Van Dyck's only venture into printmaking. It was also greatly influential as a commercial model for reproductive printmaking, as Van Dyck's work was greatly admired by other artists as being accessible and possible to emulate to certain level of exactness.

Van Dyck's success with the Iconography series compelled him to maintain a large workshop in London. While he did have assistants and students such as Adriaen Hanneman (1604 - 1671), Van Dyck's Iconography prints are considered more of a collaborative effort with other known artists, who engraved these works of portraiture after original sketches and paintings by Van Dyck.

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