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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Anthony van Dyck, Flemish (Antwerp, Belgium 1599 - 1641 London)
Portrait of Don Carlos Coloma
Work Type
17th century
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Black and white chalk on cream antique laid paper, darkened to light tan, framing lines in brown ink and black ink
24.1 x 18.6 cm (9 1/2 x 7 5/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower left, brown ink: 1628.
  • inscription: lower right, brown ink: A. van Dijk.
  • inscription: verso, lower left, graphite: N18XL / f pw
  • inscription: verso of frame: Dr. Martin says undoubtedly Van Dyck March 20/21(?)
  • inscription: verso, upper left, graphite: N 3
  • inscription: verso, upper left, brown ink: a a/e fos [crossed out with black ink]
  • watermark: none


Recorded Ownership History
Lambert ten Kate, Amsterdam, sold; [Carpi and Tirion, Amsterdam, 16 June 1732 and following days, Port. I, lot 14.] Sybrand Feitama, Amsterdam, sold; [Bernardus de Bosch, Amsterdam, 16 October 1758 and following days, kunstboek A, lot 50], to Hendrik de Winter. Claude A. C. Posonby. François Flameng, Paris (L. 991?, without his mark), sold; [Paris, George Petit Gallery, 26-27 May 1919, lot 52, repr.]; to E. Jones (or Jonas?). [Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London] sold; to Paul J. Sachs, 1921 (L. 2091, without his mark); Meta and Paul J. Sachs Collection, 1961.150.

Published Text

Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums
William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson
Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016)

Around 1630, Anthony van Dyck embarked on the extensive series of printed portraits of eminent artists, collectors, noblemen, soldiers, statesmen, and scholars known as the Icones Principum Virorum (lit., “Pictures of the Famous”; now referred to as the Iconography).1 It probably began with seventeen plates etched by Van Dyck himself, most of which depicted living artists from the southern Netherlands. He also launched a second portrait series, but for these he supplied drawings and oil sketches for reproduction by specialist printmakers. By March 1632, enough impressions from the two sets had appeared that Constantijn Huygens could refer to the “books containing portraits of famous men, by Anthony van Dyck.” Work on the second series continued for several more years. Its Antwerp distributor, Martinus van den Enden, eventually published eighty of these prints, but no formal edition appeared during the artist’s lifetime.2

The Harvard drawing is Van Dyck’s study from life for an engraving by Paulus Pontius of the soldier–historian Don Carlos Coloma, marquis of Espinar (Alicante 1566–1637 Madrid; Fig. 1).3 Coloma served the Spanish monarchy for fifty years, many of which he spent in the Netherlands as military officer, governor, ambassador, and counselor. He wrote an account of the wars in the Low Countries covering the years 1588 to 1599 and also published his translation into Spanish of the works of the Roman historian Tacitus.4

Van Dyck summarily outlined Coloma’s clothes and, with only a few strokes, deftly recorded his face and hair, capturing the gravitas and hauteur of the veteran commander’s demeanor. The text beneath the print identifies Coloma as Magister Campi. Gnalis in Belg., a Latin abbreviation for Maestre de Campo General, the Army of Flanders’ highest infantry rank, which he held from 1631 to 1634.5 Van Dyck could have sketched Coloma in 1628–29 or in 1633–34, but the sitting most likely took place between March 1631, when Coloma returned from a diplomatic mission in London and rejoined the army as Maestre de Campo General, and March 1632, when Van Dyck departed for England.6 As Horst Vey suggested, the artist may have drawn Coloma’s portrait on the same occasion as the unmistakably similar studies of two other Spanish generals, Don Alvaro de Bazán, marquis of Santa Cruz, and Don Manuel Pimentel, count of Feria. Of the drawings related to the Iconography, these three are the most economical, presumably because the artist had limited time with the officers.7 If Vey’s conjecture is correct, they must all date to between April 1631 and March 1632, the only period when the artist and the three generals were in the Netherlands simultaneously.8

The Harvard drawing cannot have been the model for the engraving by Pontius, in which Coloma stands before a curtain dressed in armor, holding his baton of command and resting his right hand on the text space. Those elements were introduced in an oil sketch painted in monochrome brown tones on a panel identical in size to the print.9 Probably executed by a workshop assistant under Van Dyck’s supervision, the oil modello, like the Harvard study, is oriented in the same direction as the engraving. A drawing formerly in Weimar could have served as the engraver’s immediate model. It scrupulously reproduces the oil sketch but reverses the composition, so its orientation corresponds to the work on the copper plate. Although we know the drawing only from a murky photograph, it is clearly not by Van Dyck, but was presumably produced by his workshop or by Pontius.10


1 A good deal of information about the Iconography is provided by Ger Luijten and Carl Depauw in Anthony van Dyck as a Printmaker (Antwerp: Plantin-Moretus Museum and Stedelijk Prentenkabinet; Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinet, 1999). For the beginning of the Iconography series, see pp. 74–76; Van Dyck’s other involvement with the graphic arts, pp. 43–55 and 219–30; the single edition of the series containing most of Van Dyck’s autograph etchings in their early states, p. 79; expansion of the series into two, changes in Van Dyck’s role, and Constantijn Huygens’s comment, pp. 73–74; duration of the second series, pp. 83–84; Martinus van den Enden’s publication of the works, pp. 74–75 and 84–88.

2 After Van Dyck’s death, Gillis Hendricx published the portraits as a single edition with title page. Most of the seventeen plates etched by Van Dyck himself were added to the series in Hendricx’s edition, now expanded to 100 portraits, which appeared in 1645–46; idem, pp. 74, 79, 83, and 87. The Iconography, the title by which the series is known today, dates from the eighteenth century; idem, p. 73.

3 Paulus Pontius, after Anthony van Dyck, Don Carlos Coloma from Icones Principum Virorum (Fig. 1). Engraving, 3rd state(?). 235 × 166 mm. London, British Museum, R,1a.81. On Coloma, see Olga Turner, Some Aspects of the Life and Works of Don Carlos Coloma, 1566–1637, Ph.D. thesis, University of London, (London, 1950).

4 Carlos Coloma, Las guerras de los Estados Baxos desde el año de M.D.LXXXVIII. hasta el de M.D.XCIX, Cambrai 1622. Carlos Coloma, trans., Obras de Cajo Cornelio Tacito, Douai, 1629.

5 Turner, pp. 285a–87; Fernando Gonzales de León, The Road to Rocroi: Class, Culture and Command in the Spanish Army of Flanders, 1567–1659 (Leiden, 2009), pp. 17 and 38.

6 The Harvard drawing has been dated generally to 1627–35; Horst Vey, Die Zeichnungen Anton van Dycks (Brussels, 1962), vol. 1, cat. 259, p. 325; Christopher Brown, The Drawings of Anthony van Dyck (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library; Fort Worth, TX: Kimbell Art Museum, 1991), cat. 62, p. 210. It cannot date from 1627 or 1635, because Coloma was not in the Netherlands in those years. Both Van Dyck and Coloma were in the Netherlands in 1628–29. Whether the numerals 1628 inscribed by a later hand, possibly that of Lambert ten Kate, on the recto of the Harvard sheet refer to the date of the drawing is not certain. Coloma was in England from December 1629 to March 1631. Van Dyck moved to England by 1 April 1632. Van Dyck was again in the Netherlands from October 1633 to the spring of 1635, so it is possible that he made the drawing between October 1633 and July 1634, when Coloma left the Netherlands for Milan. For Van Dyck’s dates, see Susan J. Barnes, Nora de Poorter, Oliver Millar, and Horst Vey, Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings (New Haven, Connecticut and London, 2004), pp. 4–9. For Coloma’s dates, see Turner, pp. 238–39, 285a, and 308–9; Gonzales de León, pp. 38, 40, 219, 221–22, and 251–67.

7 Vey, vol. 1, cat. 258, pp. 323–24, and cat. 261, p. 326; Vey in Barnes et al., under cats. III.151 and III.162, p. 371.

8 The text beneath the print of Bazán by Pontius identifies the officer as Governor of Arms in the Army of Flanders. He arrived in the Netherlands from Milan to assume this position in April of 1631, was relieved in the fall of 1632, and was in Madrid by the end of November. Vey, vol. 1, cat. 258, pp. 323–24; Bram Meij in A. W. F. M. Meij, Maartje de Haan, et al., Rubens, Jordaens, Van Dyck, and Their Circle: Flemish Master Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, (Pittsburgh: Frick Art Museum, Frick Art & Historical Center; Ocala, FL: Appleton Museum of Art; Nashville, TN: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 2001), cat. 65, pp. 236–37; Vey in Barnes et al., under cat. III.162, p. 371; Gonzales de León, pp. 37 and 221–24; Shirley B. Whitaker, “Lope de Vega’s ‘La Muerte del Rey de Suecia’ on the Madrid Stage and at El Pardo: Glimpses from the Tuscan Embassy,” Comedia Performance: Journal of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, vol. 8, no. 1 (2011): 9–41, pp. 26–27. Van Dyck had moved to England by 1 April 1632, so the drawing can only have been executed after Bazán’s arrival in the Netherlands in April 1631 and before Van Dyck’s departure. Pimentel held the rank of artillery general in the Army of the Palatinate from 1632 to 1634 and Maestre de Campo General in the Army of Flanders from 1635 to 1639; Gonzales de León, pp. 38–40. Pontius’s engraving shows him in armor and holding his baton, but the text beneath the portrait does not refer to his military rank.

9 Workshop of Anthony van Dyck, Don Carlos Coloma. Oil on panel. 23 × 16.5 cm. Boughton House, Northamptonshire, Collection of the Duke of Buccleuch. Barnes et al., cat. III.150, p. 367, where Horst Vey questions the attribution to Van Dyck. Copies of the oil sketch are in Bayonne, Musée Bonnat, 942, and sale, Sotheby’s, London, 19 January 1966, lot 165.

10 Photographs in the Witt Library (Courtauld Institute of Art) and RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History); Foto Braun no. 79619 or 79618. On the mount of the RKD photograph, the location is given as “Weimar, Museum.” Media and dimensions unrecorded. Inscribed lower left, in ink(?): Ant° van Dyck. In 2000, the drawing was in a private Munich collection; correspondence in the Harvard Art Museums’ object file.


Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Meta and Paul J. Sachs Collection
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Ignatz von Szwykowski, Anton Van Dyck's Bildnisse bekannter Personen, Rudolf Weigel (Leipzig, 1859), p. 35
  • Lionel Cust, Anthony van Dyck: An Historical Study of his Life and Work, George Bell and Sons, Ltd. (London, England, 1900), p. 165 and under no. 23, p. 254
  • Arthur Mayger Hind, "Van Dyck: His Original Etchings and his Iconography", The Print-Collector's Quarterly (February 1915), vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 3-37, p. 12
  • Arthur Mayger Hind, Van Dyck: His Original Etchings and His Iconography, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, 1915), p. 18
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, Special Exhibition of Drawings by Old and Modern Masters, exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, 1927), cat. no. 1636.27
  • Margaret Scott, An Exhibition of Old-Master Drawings for the Benefit of Public Health Nursing Milk and Emergency Fund, exh. cat., Junior League (Pittsburgh, 1933), cat. no. 8, p. 10
  • Maurice Delacre, Recherches sur le rôle du dessin dans l'iconongraphie de Van Dyck (Notes complémentaires), Hayez, Imprimeur de l'Academie Royale de Belgique (Brussels, 1934), p. 12
  • Master Drawings, Selected from the Museums and Private Collections of America, exh. cat., Buffalo Fine Arts Academy/Albright Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1935), cat. no. 41, n.p., repr.
  • Fogg Art Museum Handbook, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 151, repr.
  • Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate International Exposition, Art: Official Catalogue, exh. cat., The Recording Printing and Publishing Company, H.S. Crocker Co., Inc., and Schwabacher-Frey Co. (San Francisco, 1940), cat. no. 431, p. 94
  • Agnes Mongan and Paul J. Sachs, Drawings in the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1940), vol. 1, cat. no. 466, pp. 243-4, repr. vol. 2, fig. 238
  • Annemarie Henle, Master Drawings: An Exhibition of Drawings from American Museums and Private Collections, exh. cat., Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate International Exposition (San Francisco, 1940), cat. no. 31, p. 14, repr. p. 57, fig. 31
  • Leo van Puyvelde, Van Dyck, Elsevier (Brussels, 1950), pp. 190, 194, 197, and 216 (n. 16)
  • An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, checklist, Unpublished (1954), cat. no. 28, p. 7
  • Agnes Mongan, "The Fogg Art Museum's Collection of Drawings", Harvard Library Bulletin, Harvard University (Cambridge, 1958), vol. 3, no. 2, March, pp. 5-9, p. 200
  • Roger A. d'Hulst and Horst Vey, Antoon van Dyck; Tekeningen en olieverfschetsen, exh. cat., Rubenshuis (Antwerp and Rotterdam, 1960), cat. no. 83, pp. 120-21, repr. pl. 53
  • William H. Gerdts and Elaine Evans Gerdts, Old Master Drawings, exh. cat., The Newark Museum (Newark, 1960), cat. no. 34, n.p., repr.
  • Horst Vey, Die Zeichnungen Anton van Dycks (Brussels, Belgium, 1962), vol. 1, cat. no. 259, pp. 324-5, repr. vol. 2, fig. 312
  • Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1959-1962, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1963), p. 132
  • A Survey of the Collections, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1964), n.p., repr.
  • Agnes Mongan, Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965]: given and bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1965), cat. no. 20, n.p., repr., and p. 207
  • Jan Gerrit van Gelder, "Lambert ten Kate als Kunstverzamelaar", Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek (1970), vol. 21, pp. 139-86, p. 177 (n. 69), repr. p. 179, fig. 18
  • Mrs. Colles Baxter Larkin, "Rubens: A Variety of Interests" (unpublished manuscript, Fogg Art Museum, 1974). Typewritten brochure that accompanied the exhibition of the same title at the Fogg Art Museum, 23 May - 30 June 1974., no. 4, n.p.
  • Konrad Oberhuber, European Master Drawings of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo, 1979), cat. no. 44, n.p., repr. pl. 44
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), cat. no. 270, p. 231, repr.
  • Michael Jaffé, Review of "The Drawings of Anthony van Dyck", The Burlington Magazine (May 1991), vol. 133, no. 1058, pp. 341-44, p. 343
  • Christopher Brown, The Drawings of Anthony van Dyck, exh. cat., The Morgan Library & Museum (New York, 1991), cat. no. 62, pp. 210-11, repr.
  • Anne-Marie Logan, Flemish Drawings in the Age of Rubens: Selected Works from American Collections, exh. cat., University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA and London, England, 1993), cat. no. 14, pp. 33 and 150-51 repr. pl. 14
  • F. W. H. Hollstein, The New Hollstein : Dutch & Flemish etchings, engravings, and woodcuts, 1450-1700, Koninklijke van Poll, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, and Sound + Vision Publishers (Roosendall, Rotterdam, and Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, 1993 - ongoing), Anthony van Dyck, part 1, under no. 19, p. 93
  • Joseph Koerner and Michael Zell, Lifeworld: Portrait and Landscape in Netherlandish Prints, 1550-1650, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1999), checklist (unnumbered)
  • Susan J. Barnes, Nora De Poorter, Sir Oliver Millar, and Horst Vey, Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven and London, 2004), under cat. no. III.150, p. 367, and under cat. no. III.151, p. 368
  • British Museum collections website, website, 2009, under catalogue entry for Pontius/Van Dyck, "Icones Principum Virorum," reg. no. R,1a.81
  • Stijn Alsteens, [Review] William W. Robinson, with Susan Anderson, "Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums" (Winter 2015), p. 532
  • William W. Robinson and Susan Anderson, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel, Rubens, and Rembrandt: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2016), p. 15, 23; cat. no. 29, pp. 113-115, repr. p. 114

Exhibition History

  • An Exhibition of Old-Master Drawings for the Benefit of Public Health Nursing Milk and Emergency Fund, Junior League, Pittsburgh, 12/13/1933 - 01/06/1934
  • Master Drawings, Selected from the Museums and Private Collections of America, Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, 01/01/1935 - 01/31/1935
  • Master Drawings: An Exhibition of Drawings from American Museums and Private Collections, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 01/01/1940 - 12/31/1940
  • Drawings from the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University (Collected by Paul J. Sachs), Century Club, New York, 05/12/1947 - 09/25/1947
  • An Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolors, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/01/1954 - 04/30/1954
  • Old Master Drawings, The Newark Museum, Newark, 03/17/1960 - 05/22/1960
  • Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965] Given and Bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 11/15/1965 - 01/15/1966; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 12/19/1966 - 02/26/1967
  • Rubens: A Variety of Interests, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/23/1974 - 06/30/1974
  • European Master Drawing of Six Centuries from the Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11/03/1979 - 12/16/1979
  • The Drawings of Anthony van Dyck, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 02/15/1991 - 04/21/1991; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 06/01/1991 - 08/11/1991
  • Flemish Drawings in the Age of Rubens, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, 10/15/1993 - 11/28/1993; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 01/04/1994 - 02/20/1994
  • The Heavenly Twins: Edward W. Forbes, Paul J. Sachs and the Building of a Collection, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/23/1995 - 12/17/1995
  • Lifeworld: Portrait and Landscape in Netherlandish Prints, 1550-1650, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/30/1999 - 01/23/2000

Subjects and Contexts

  • Dutch, Flemish, & Netherlandish Drawings

Verification Level

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