The present miniature derives from a large-scale oil on canvas portrait by van Dyck in which the sitter is depicted holding the head of a sculpture. The painting is now in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (inv. no. 3928 as 'Portrait presumed to be the sculptor François du Quesnoy 1597-1643').
Duquesnoy was born in Brussels but worked in Rome where he was nicknamed 'Il Fiammingo', having come from Flanders. He created the statue of Santa Susanna, now at the church of Santa Maria di Loreto, Rome, and the statue of Saint Andrew at the Crossing of St Peter's at St Peter's Basilica, Rome. He was offered the position of royal sculptor to King Louis XIII of France by Cardinal Richelieu but he died before his journey to France began.