Study for an Equestrian Portrait, Possibly that of Albert de Ligne, Count of Arenberg; verso: Various Studies of Statues and Figures, Including the Venus Pudica and Scipio and his Lictor

Artist: Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, Antwerp 1599–1641 London)

Date: ca. 1628–32

Medium: Pen and brown ink; verso: pen and brown ink, black chalk

Dimensions: 9 1/16 x 9 5/8 in. (23 x 24.5 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Gift of Harold K. Hochschild, 1940

Accession Number: 40.91.16


Van Dyck probably made this drawing as a preparatory study for the lifesize equestrian portrait of Albert de Ligne, prince of Brabançon and Arenberg (Holkham Hall, Norfolk), which he painted about 1628–32. The sitter was commander in chief of the Spanish forces in Bohemia, Westphalia, and the Netherlands. Van Dyck's choice of a rear view adds decorative bravado to the image by integrating the horse's flowing mane and tail with the sitter's elegant sash and dashing feathered hat.