For those not familiar with the genre of the portrait miniature, let us first consider why and when these portraits became popular in England, and the various artists creating these images for the Tudor court. The half millennium saw a marked change from the religious themes of the medieval period to secular subjects inspired by… Continue reading The origins of the Tudor portrait miniature
Nicholas Hilliard was England’s first English artist to become internationally famous. His self portrait (© Victoria & Albert Museum, London) is a mere 41mm in diameter (1.6 inches) and it is for these exquisitely delicate and miniature images of Elizabeth I and her court that he becomes famous. I fell in love with Hilliard’s miniatures… Continue reading Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619) & Isaac Oliver (1565-1617): Painters to the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts
The portrait of Elizabeth I known as the Armada Portrait was saved for the nation thanks to contributions from a generous public and a huge donation from the Art Fund. It has now been fully restored and hangs in The Queen’s House, Greenwich. It is one of three portraits that clearly derive from the same… Continue reading The Armada Portrait Reconsidered.
In the British Library we have a collection of illuminated manusripts that are as important to our national culture as the history of battles won and lost by kings long gone. Gifts by George II and George III form the core of the British Library known as the King’s Stack. George II gave 2000 volumes,… Continue reading Illuminated manuscripts fit for a King
How does a 21st century audience recognise the shakers and movers of Tudor society? Clearly those historians who immerse themselves in documents will have a feel for the way they believe these men and women thought. Combine that with the use of the portrait as a propoganda tool and suddenly these influential people are no… Continue reading How we know the Movers & Shakers of Tudor Society