Arts & Humanities Campus News

Duplication is the sincerest form of flattery

The Georgia Museum of Art will present “A Perfect Model: Prints after Anthony van Dyck’s Portraits” through Dec. 1.

The exhibition includes a selection of prints from van Dyck’s famous “Iconographie” series. The series depicts more than 100 scholars, military leaders, politicians and nobles. To tackle this ambitious project, van Dyck employed some of the best printmakers of the period, including Paulus Pontius and Lucas Vorsterman the Elder. The engravers worked on the series for years and only completed it after van Dyck’s death in 1641.

Born in 1599 in the Spanish Netherlands, van Dyck made his mark as the leading court painter in England. He worked at a time when there was a high demand for people to immortalize who they were. His portraits were in some ways the carefully composed selfies of his day, seeming to capture a casual pose even as each gesture and object speaks to the sitters’ desire to project a certain image. Van Dyck’s fame as one of the leading portraitists of the period guaranteed him a full roster of clients and the admiration of fellow artists.

Nelda Damiano, the museum’s Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, organized the exhibition, selecting a range of subjects and the best impressions from the museum’s holdings of more than 50 prints made after van Dyck’s work.

“It is always a pleasure to dig into the museum’s permanent collection and share with visitors works that are rarely exhibited. Van Dyck was a pivotal figure in the genre of portraiture, in its painted, drawn or engraved form. He had a keen sense of business and understood the reach prints could have since they could be easily published and circulated, an approach that had a great impact on generations of artists,” said Damiano.

Related events include:

  • A Family Day on July 20 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • A Teen Studio program on Aug. 22 from 5:30-8 p.m. that involves a hands-on art project and a pizza dinner from DePalma’s
  • A talk by Damiano on Sept. 4 at 2 p.m.
  • And an open house for the fall exhibitions on Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Family Day is sponsored by Lucy and Buddy Allen and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Teen Studio is free but requires registration by emailing