This hitherto unpublished study relates to the heads of central characters in two of van Dyck's major altarpieces from around 1630-1: the figure supporting Christ in the Raising of the Cross, commissioned by Canon Roger de Braye for the North transept of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, Coutrai, where it still hangs (see fig. 1); and the kneeling unbeliever in Saint Anthony of Padua's Miracle of the Host, painted for the side altar of the Eglise des Récollets, Lille (now Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille; see fig. 2). Their close affinity suggest that the artist used the same head study for both protagonists. As Horst Vey has commented, 'The unbeliever's head is so like that of the bearded executioner in the Raising of the Cross that the same study clearly served for both' (S.J. Barnes, N. de Poorter, O. Millar and H. Vey, Van Dyck - A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, p. 276, under no. III.39).