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Miniature - Portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601).
  • Portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601).
    Oliver, Isaac, born 1558 - died 1617
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Portrait of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601).

  • Object:

    Miniature

  • Date:

    after 1596 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oliver, Isaac, born 1558 - died 1617 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on vellum, mounted on card

  • Museum number:

    E.1177-1988

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Watercolour on vellum, stuck onto plain card, depicting Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601), full face in a black doublet, white lawn collar and ruff, with a blue ribbon around his neck. The background is light grey with a gold border.

Inscription Content: Inscribed on reverse in an 18th century hand Henry Earle / of Northumberland

Date

after 1596 (made)

Artist/maker

Oliver, Isaac, born 1558 - died 1617 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on vellum, mounted on card

Dimensions

Height: 49 mm sight size, oval, Width: 39.5 mm sight size, oval

Object history note

Item Provenance: The estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K.C.M.G., O.B.E.

Exhibitions: Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures on loan at the South Kensington Museum, London, 1865. No. 1717.

The miniature is one of tem by various artists acquired as a group and displayed in two frames. Nine of these miniatures are in the V&A collection, E.1170-1178-1988. The tenth miniature by Nicholas Hilliard of Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, is now held by the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature on vellum by Isaac Oliver depicting Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601). Great Britain, ca. 1596-1601.

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

Strong, Sir Roy, "The Leicester House Miniatures: Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester and his circle", Burlington Magazine CXXVII, October 1985, p.698, Cat. No. VI, fig. 48.
The following in an excerpt from a valuation report made by Christie's of the estate of the late Rt. Hon. Viscount Harcourt, K. C. M. G., O. B. E.

"The inscription on the reverse states that this is a miniature of Henry Earl of Northumberland, which is incorrect. The miniature is of Elizabeth's favourite, of which other versions exist (NPG, no. 4966, Burghley House, and in the Royal Collection). It is a lively characteristic of the sitter, and is an important miniature as it marks Essex's break with Hillaird whom he had patronised until then, and the acquisition by Oliver of a major patron.
Robert Devereux (1566-1601) eldest son of Walter Devereux, first Earl. Created Knight Banneret for his bravery at Zutphen, 1586, became a favourite of the Queen and Master of the Horse, 1587. In 1596 he defeated the Spanish in a naval battle off Cadiz, on this trip he grew a beard, and it is possible that this miniature was first painted immediately after his return from abroad. He married Frances, the widow of Sir Philip Sidney in 1590. In 1601 he was executed for trying to secure a plot against Elizabeth's counsellors."

Materials

Vellum

Techniques

Painting

Categories

Paintings; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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