Saturday 6 February 2021

Engraving of William III depicted as a Bust

 William III.

William of Orange.

Depicted as a Bust

Engraved by Pieter van Gunst.



Every so often I have been posting illustrations of sculpture depicted in various mediums. I will perhaps collate them in a blog specifically for the purpose.

In my view a great deal of verbose nonsense has been recently written about the use and reason for the creation of the English and French portrait bust in the 18th century, whilst mostly ignoring the bust as an art form in the previous two centuries.

I believe there are two basic and simple reasons - the need to aggrandise or simply show off, of the sitter or the commissioner of the sculpture and the artistic imperative of the creator.

Most of those images have been posted on my parallel blog see -

This fine image is one from a series of fifteen book-illustrations to Bidloo's "Komste van Zyne Majesteit Willem III in Holland" first published in The Hague by Arnold Leers in 1691.

This image posted courtesey the British Museum website

see -

Height: 333 millimetres  Width: 231 millimetres

Portrait bust of Willem III directed to right; after P.v. Gunst; illustration to Govert Bidloo's "Komste van Zyne Majesteit Willem III in Holland" (The Hague, Arnold Leers: 1692). 1691



Here are a couple more engravings by van Gunst.

A bust of Madelaine de Valois

after van der Werff.

c. 1700.

Height: 304 millimetres (sheet)  Width: 176 millimetres

Image from British Museum website


James V of Scotland.

Late 17th Century.

12 1/2 in. x 7 1/4 in. (318 mm x 185 mm) plate size

another image from the British Museum website


Bust of  Simon Pauli. 

Line engraving by A. Haelwegh, 1666, 

after C. van Mander III.

 Carel van Mander, approximately 1610-1672.

This image from the Wellcome Collection website

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