Van Dyck is an important portrait painter during the second quarter of the 17th Century. He possessed a talent primarily for capturing the essence of his characters. Because of his stay in England he exerted a strong influence on the portrait in the English painting of the 17th until the 19th Century.
Van Dyck had made this oil-painting sketch during his first Antwerp period. It is the study of a man’s head, from which he various times had painted Saint Jerome.