Elizabeth I thumbnail 1
Elizabeth I thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Portrait Miniatures, Room 90a, The International Music and Art Foundation Gallery

Elizabeth I

Portrait Miniature
ca. 1600 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Portrait miniature of Elizabeth I, half-length, oval, wearing a ruff and jewellery. The painting has a lavender-coloured paper glued to the back.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum mounted onto card
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of Elizabeth I, watercolour on vellum, painted by Nicholas Hilliard, 1595-1600.
Physical Description
Portrait miniature of Elizabeth I, half-length, oval, wearing a ruff and jewellery. The painting has a lavender-coloured paper glued to the back.
Dimensions
  • Height: 64.5mm
  • Width: 49mm
Dimensions taken from: Strong, Roy. Artists of the Tudor Court: the Portrait Miniature Rediscovered 1520-1620.. London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983.
Content description
Portrait of a woman, half-length, looking to left and wearing a necklace, elaborate lace ruff; her hair and dress are adorned with jewels.
Styles
Object history
Purchased from the Earl of Radnor, see also P.2-1974, P.3-1974, P.4-1974 and P.5-1974.

See P.2-1974 for a history of this group.



This is one of five miniatures from the Radnor collection (P.1 to 5-1974), all of which were reframed at the time of acquisition for conservation reasons and are now housed in 1970s frames. The original ivory box and lid for each medallion is currently held in storage.
Subjects depicted
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
Strong, Roy. Artists of the Tudor Court: the Portrait Miniature Rediscovered 1520-1620. London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983. Cat. 210, p. 131.Part Citation: Vellum mounted onto card, with a lavender-coloured paper glued to the back, which may well be contemporary, oval, 64.5 x 49 mm, 2 17/32 x 1 29/32 in. Basically in good condition, although faded, the miniature is of vigorous autograph quality but the face is of the usual schematized Mask of Youth pattern. As in the case of all Hilliard’s miniatures of the Queen, observation of the dress is precise, to the sprigs of greenery tucked into her bodice and hair. The cascading ringlets and the additional chin-ruff occur only in portraits at the very close of the reign (Strong, The English Icon, p. 299 (304); 240 (211)). Thus Reynolds’ and Auerbach’s dating, c. 1590, is far too early. This is one of the five Radnor miniatures [P.1-5-1974] which descended as a group, probably from Elizabeth Stafford, Lady Drury.” COLLECTIONS: This is one of a group of five miniatures that were acquired from the Earl of Radnor in 1974. The documentation on their history was first published by W. B. Squire and the Countess of Radnor in the catalogue of the collection at Longford Castle published in 1909. They came with a memorandum listing other items, most now untraceable, on August 2nd 1796 when they were purchased by the 2nd Earl of Radnor from a Mrs Anne Lewis for £52.10s.] LITERATURE: Countess of Radnor and W. B. Squire, Catalogue of the Collection of the Earl of Radnor, London, 1909, II, PP. 108-11. V&A, 1942 (42). Auerbach, Hilliard, pp. 109-10; 301 (84). Strong, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, p. 95 (15). Strong, “The Radnor Miniatures”, Christie’s Review of the Season 1974, ed. John Herbert, 1974, pp. 254-57.’
Collection
Accession Number
P.1:1-1974

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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