Two portraits of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck - Paulus Pontius (I) - 1618 - 1658

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Two portraits of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck

Paulus Pontius (I) (graveur)
Anthony van Dyck (naar)
Franciscus Huybrechts (publisher)
Erasmus Quellinus I
1618 - 1658
485.0 mm x 388.0 mm
Inventory number: 
Museum Plantin-Moretus/ Print Room
17th century

On the left we see Rubens, on the right Van Dyck, placed in two lyre-shaped planes and surrounded by decorative wings, fruit, and trumpet-blowing putti (small nude children). Under the portraits lie the painters’ coats of arms. In the centre the heads of Mercury and Apollo are depicted. In the foreground two putti are crowning with laurels a lion whose paw is resting on the globe. Here Erasmus Quellinus brought together two grandmasters of Antwerp baroque painting. For this purpose he went back to the prints which in their turn were based on a self-portrait of the masters. Rubens’s self-portrait preserved in the KMSKA in Antwerp was converted into an engraving by Paulus Pontius, and served as the basis for the engraving by Quellinus. The portrait of Van Dyck went back to a self-portrait of Van Dyck that he made for his Iconography. The portrait did not achieve the grace of Van Dyck’s self-portrait. The edge decoration is by far more impressive, with every detail contributing to the glorification of the two grandest masters of the Antwerp school of painting. Theodoor Boeyermans started from this engrving for the portraits of Rubens and Van Dyck in his painting Antverpia Pictorum Nutrix (Antwerp is feeding the art of painting).