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Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)

James I (1566-1625) Inscribed 1614

RCIN 420053

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Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619) was the son of a prominent Exeter goldsmith, Richard Hilliard. Part of his youth was spent as a Protestant exile in Germany and Geneva and he travelled abroad again in the early part of his career as a miniaturist, serving in the household of François, duc d’Alençon for a short spell beginning in late 1576. It is not known from whom he received his training as a miniaturist, but he was sufficiently successful to paint Elizabeth I in miniature from a sitting in 1572 (National Portrait Gallery, London) and the miniatures which he went on to produce in the course of a career spanning four decades provide a gallery of the most prominent players at the Elizabethan and early Stuart court.