Nicholas Hilliard

1547? Born in Exeter, the son of a goldsmith.

1559 Hilliard is in Geneva having been sent by his staunchly Protestant father during the latter part of Mary’s reign.

1560 At the age of thirteen he completes his first miniatures.

1562 Apprenticed to Robert Brandon, a London goldsmith.

1569 Becomes a freeman of the Goldsmiths Company.

1572 Paints his first miniature of Elizabeth I – helped by the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

1576 Marries Alice Brandon, the daughter of his former master, and travels to France in the hope of better remuneration. Becomes Valet de Chambre to the Duc d’Alençon.

1578 Returns to England.

1584 Commissioned to re-design Elizabeth’s Great Seal.

1585 Elizabeth issues a patent granting Hilliard a monopoly of the production of limned (miniature) portraits of her.

1603 James I maintains Hilliard’s position as Royal Limner.

1617 James grants Hilliard a monopoly of engraved royal images.

1619 Dies in London.

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Nicholas Hilliard - Selected Works

c1574 (attributed) Queen Elizabeth I - The Pelican Portrait, Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery

1577 Richard Hilliard, the Artist’s Father, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1577 Self Portrait, aged 30, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1578 Alice Brandon, Mrs Hilliard, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1581 Sir Frances Drake, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

c1585 A Young Man Leaning against a Tree among Roses, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1588 Portrait of a Man Clasping a Hand from a Cloud, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1591 Sir Christopher Hatton, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1600 Elizabeth I, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1603 Anne of Denmark, Queen of James I, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1609 James I, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1610 Frances Howard, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

1613 _Charles I when Prince of Wales _, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

Nicholas Hilliard - Featured Paintings

© Great Works of Western Art 2018