The Earl of Arundel left England in February of 1642, only months before the continuing conflict between king and parliament escalated into serious military confrontation. Hollar, however, remained in London where he produced cheap, crude illustrations for the flourishing popular press. In 1644 he moved to Antwerp and, over the next eight years, refined his talents, producing what are considered some of his greatest etchings.
Hollar's sources were varied. He etched plates from sketches he had made in England, and he copied prolifically from the works of Durer, Van Dyck, Holbein, Titian, and others. His portrait of a woman with coiled hair after Durer was issued in Antwerp in 1646 and was based on a painting in the Arundel collection. Some of his scenes, portraits, and representations from life are beautifully conceived and sensitively executed. These include this portrait of a young African woman.