A Girl, formerly thought to be Queen Elizabeth I as Princess thumbnail 1
A Girl, formerly thought to be Queen Elizabeth I as Princess thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F

A Girl, formerly thought to be Queen Elizabeth I as Princess

Portrait Miniature
1549 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

When this miniature was acquired in 1954 it was described as anonymous work, but has since been associated with Levina Teerlinc. In a chapter published in 2015 the work of Levina Teerlinc was reexamined as part of a reassessment of the workshop practice of Nicholas Hilliard (See Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire, 'Nicholas Hilliard's Workshop Practice reconsidered', in 'Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage', ed. T.Cooper et al, Oxford, 2015, pp.241-251.) Levina Teerlinc worked for Henry VIII from 1546, receiving an annuity from the crown until her death in 1576. Teerlinc has been nominated as Hilliard’s likely tutor by Roy Strong and V.J.Murrell in their groundbreaking exhibition 'Artists of the Tudor Court', V&A, 1983, asserting that limning was a workshop tradition, passed from master to pupil. But Hilliard himself noted that Henry VIII employed ‘divers others’ for limning, some of whom plausibly worked for the crown after Henry’s death in 1547. The tendency to attribute miniatures from the 1550s and 1560s predominantly to Teerlinc has been encouraged by Strong’s creation of an oeuvre for this artist, and insistence on an unwavering line of descent from the so-called 'Ghent-Bruges tradition', with Teerlinc, the daughter of Simon Bening, the pivotal link to Hilliard. But examination of a few of those surviving miniatures from the 1550s to the 1560s suggest that they are probably by different hands, and cannot all be attributed to Teerlinc. The situation today is that there is no consensus as to works which have been attributed to Teerlinc. It is impossible today to assess this miniature which has been heavily overpainted.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painting on vellum, on card
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of a girl, formerly thought to be Queen Elizabeth I as Princess, Possibly by Levina Teerlinc (heavily over-painted), English school, 1549
Physical Description
Miniature portrait of a girl.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 4.8cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'A.D. 1549' (Dated)
  • 'Lady Elizabeth aged 17 Born 1532 Died 1602 by Holben' (Inscribed on the back in a later hand)
Object history
This miniature was Lot 69 at Christie's, 25 June 1954 (reproduced in catalogue). It was sold by Col. the Hon. Thomas G. Morgan-Grenville, D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C., to whom it had descended from the collection of the 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane.
Subject depicted
Summary
When this miniature was acquired in 1954 it was described as anonymous work, but has since been associated with Levina Teerlinc. In a chapter published in 2015 the work of Levina Teerlinc was reexamined as part of a reassessment of the workshop practice of Nicholas Hilliard (See Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire, 'Nicholas Hilliard's Workshop Practice reconsidered', in 'Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage', ed. T.Cooper et al, Oxford, 2015, pp.241-251.) Levina Teerlinc worked for Henry VIII from 1546, receiving an annuity from the crown until her death in 1576. Teerlinc has been nominated as Hilliard’s likely tutor by Roy Strong and V.J.Murrell in their groundbreaking exhibition 'Artists of the Tudor Court', V&A, 1983, asserting that limning was a workshop tradition, passed from master to pupil. But Hilliard himself noted that Henry VIII employed ‘divers others’ for limning, some of whom plausibly worked for the crown after Henry’s death in 1547. The tendency to attribute miniatures from the 1550s and 1560s predominantly to Teerlinc has been encouraged by Strong’s creation of an oeuvre for this artist, and insistence on an unwavering line of descent from the so-called 'Ghent-Bruges tradition', with Teerlinc, the daughter of Simon Bening, the pivotal link to Hilliard. But examination of a few of those surviving miniatures from the 1550s to the 1560s suggest that they are probably by different hands, and cannot all be attributed to Teerlinc. The situation today is that there is no consensus as to works which have been attributed to Teerlinc. It is impossible today to assess this miniature which has been heavily overpainted.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1954 . London: HMSO, 1963. The full text of the entry is as follows: "Anonymous : English School, 16th century Miniature portrait of a girl, formerly thought to be Queen Elizabeth I as Princess. Dated A.D. 1549. Inscribed on the back in a later hand 'Lady Elizabeth aged 17 Born 1532 Died 1602 by Holbien'. On vellum, on card. Circular"
Collection
Accession Number
P.21-1954

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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