This study of a head or "tronie" fits completely into the scheme of how (for example Antwerp) studios worked in the 17th century: several models circulated between different workshops and were portrayed by the master and his students in different poses and attitudes.
Such a study head could then later be used for a larger work (for example, a head of one of the three Magi, but also a figure in a mythological or historical scene). Study heads thus served both as inspiration and as a means of rendering facial expressions in detail. In the 17th century, they were considered as working material and less as a work of art (although they were soon sought after by various collectors).
Our work can be situated in the close circle of Anthony Van Dyck because of its typical touch and brush-strokes.
Oil on panel, 27,5 x 21,8 cm
Presented in a nice 17th century wooden frame.