Robert Lilburne thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Robert Lilburne

Portrait Miniature
1650 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Miniature painting is defined as watercolour on a vellum (fine animal skin) support . Most miniaturists learned the technique from another miniaturist. Samuel Cooper was no exception since he was trained by his uncle, John Hoskins (born around 1590, died in 1665). In this work there are faint traces of a landscape background, possibly two church spires, low down on the right. Landscape backgrounds were rare in Cooper's work and show Hoskins' influence. The low-angle view of the sitter, with the head standing out freely against the sky, shows the influence of Hoskins' son, also John.

Sitter
Robert Lilburne entered the Parliamentary army at the beginning of the Civil War and played a leading role in campaigns against the Royalists. He was nominated one of the King's judges in December 1648 and was the 28th in the list of signatures on the death warrant of the King. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 Lilburne surrendered himself. He was tried and sentenced to death, but instead was imprisoned and died a prisoner five years later.

Identification
Various portraits have been thought to be of Robert Lilburne. This miniature is one of four very plausible ones. Its traditional identification was supported in 1938 by a Dr Lilburne, a descendant of Robert's ultra-republican brother John, on the basis of portraits then still in the family possession.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book.
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of Robert Lilburne, watercolour on vellum, painted by Samuel Cooper, 1650.
Physical Description
Portrait, head and shoulders, to right and looking to front. The sitter is wearing armour. Features boldly hatched in brown and sanguine with a little blue-grey shadow, and white lights in the eyes, on a pale creamy carnation ground; hair in pale brown wash, hatched in darker brown with gouache lights; armour in grey washes with white lights and gold for the studs; collar in white shadowed with blue and grey; background a sky, washed and hatched in gouache; on vellum put down on a leaf from a table-book



Frame: An apparently eighteenth -century oval gold locket, convex back and straight sides with a central half-round moulding; the convex glass held in a bezel by its bevelled edge; the hanger of inverted D-section (i.e., the flat is outside); inside the locket, two pieces of playing card (spades) and a later card inscribed in graphite: 'London/J Gentile' 1724, which may give the date of the frame.
Dimensions
  • Height: 4.5cm
  • Width: 3.8cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'S.C./1650' (Signed, lower left, in black)
  • 'Coll.. /Lilburn/by S Cooper/sign'd' (On the back of the frame case the label of Addington inscribed in ink)
  • (On the back of the frame is Salting's label, printed 1641 but amended by hand to '4641'; Propert's label printed 'JPLNo' and with '36/50' on a small adhesive label; other tied-on labels recorded in Museum files)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: During the Civil War Samuel Cooper was the leading British miniaturist. He maintained a thriving miniature practice in Covent Garden, the main artists' area of London. Robert Lilburne (1613-1665) was a distinguished Parliament soldier and one of those who signed the King's death warrant in 1649.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
The Salting Bequest
Object history
Provenance: Evidently a Mr Robert Graves in 1807 (see below, n. 4); Samuel Addington, his sale, Christie's 26 April 1883, lot 112, bt Wareham, 71 gns; by 1887, J L Propert; Fine Art Society 1897; purchased with others from the Propert Collection by George Salting, and by him bequeathed to the Museum, 1910.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
Miniature painting is defined as watercolour on a vellum (fine animal skin) support . Most miniaturists learned the technique from another miniaturist. Samuel Cooper was no exception since he was trained by his uncle, John Hoskins (born around 1590, died in 1665). In this work there are faint traces of a landscape background, possibly two church spires, low down on the right. Landscape backgrounds were rare in Cooper's work and show Hoskins' influence. The low-angle view of the sitter, with the head standing out freely against the sky, shows the influence of Hoskins' son, also John.

Sitter
Robert Lilburne entered the Parliamentary army at the beginning of the Civil War and played a leading role in campaigns against the Royalists. He was nominated one of the King's judges in December 1648 and was the 28th in the list of signatures on the death warrant of the King. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 Lilburne surrendered himself. He was tried and sentenced to death, but instead was imprisoned and died a prisoner five years later.

Identification
Various portraits have been thought to be of Robert Lilburne. This miniature is one of four very plausible ones. Its traditional identification was supported in 1938 by a Dr Lilburne, a descendant of Robert's ultra-republican brother John, on the basis of portraits then still in the family possession.
Bibliographic References
  • Murdoch, John. Seventeenth-century English Miniatures in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: The Stationery Office, 1997.
  • Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures, London : Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889no.50
  • Catalogue of the historical collection of miniatures formed by Mr. Lumsden Propert and exhibited at the Fine Art Society. London : Fine Art Society, 1897no.46
Collection
Accession Number
P.126-1910

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL