This is a small, reduced copy after the large full-length portrait of Béatrice de Cusance, Princess of Cantecroix by Van Dyck (209 x 121.6 cm.), which has been in the Royal Collection since 1747.1
The original portrait was most likely painted in 1634-35, during Van Dyck's 'Second Antwerp Period.' During this time he spent just over a year in Brussels - possibly from October 1633, and certainly from the beginning of 1634, until mid-March 1635. It is most likely that his portrait of Béatrice was painted at that time, when she was living in Brussels.
The full-length portrait was engraved, in reverse, in three-quarter-length format by Pieter de Jode the Younger, with a legend identifying the sitter. There is in fact a small 'grisaille' version of the painting attributed to Van Dyck's studio, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie, Troyes (inv. no. D. 55-3; on paper glued on panel; 31 x 26 cm.) which most probably served as the model for the print.2 Though the present work resembles this 'grisaille' more closely in size and format, the expression of the sitter is closer to that of the original. The pale silk dress beneath a black gown found in the full-length, however, has been exchanged here for blue silk, and the rest of the dress is unfinished.
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