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Portrait miniature - A Man, perhaps Ferdinand Ill, Holy Roman Emperor
  • A Man, perhaps Ferdinand Ill, Holy Roman Emperor
    Cooper, Alexander
  • Enlarge image

A Man, perhaps Ferdinand Ill, Holy Roman Emperor

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, painted)

  • Date:

    1628-1630 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cooper, Alexander (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum put down on a playing card

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Thomas Hugh Cobb

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 1, box E

Physical description

Portrait, head and shoulders, looking to front and wearing a high lace collar. Features hatched finely in brown and sanguine with grey shadow, over a pale creamy carnation ground; hair washed in brown and hatched in black, the lights in gouache; costume in black wash with collar in thick white; background a blue wash, hatched and shaded in violet and grey; on vellum put down on a playing card (parts of five spades); a gold marginal strip painted on the card.

Frame: Set in the obverse of two silver thalers, divided and threaded to screw together; the portrait heads are of John George I, Elector of Saxony (ruled 1611-56) and of Christian Minden, Duke of Brunswick Luneburg (ruled 1599-1633), lettered: (i) IOHAN: GEORG: D.G. DVX SAX: IVL. CLIV: ET MONTI; (ii) CHRISTIANUS. D:G. EL. EP. MIND: DUX. BR. ET. LU. Inside the latter, scratched: 1/101.25.

Place of Origin

England (possibly, painted)


1628-1630 (painted)


Cooper, Alexander (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum put down on a playing card

Marks and inscriptions

Signed in gold, lower left


Diameter: 36 mm

Object history note

Provenance: Thomas Hugh Cobb, by whom bequeathed to the Museum, September 1944.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of a man, perhaps the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, watercolour on vellum, painted by Alexander Cooper, 1628-1630.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1944, London: Printed under the Authority of the Ministry of Education 1949.

Production Note

It is unclear if this miniature was painted in England or when the artist was on the Continent in the 1630s.


Vellum; Watercolour



Subjects depicted



Portraits; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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