Nicholas Hilliard

James VI and I, 1566 - 1625. King of Scotland 1567 - 1625. King of England and Ireland 1603 - 1625 (about 1609)

About this artwork

King James was the only child of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her second husband, Lord Darnley. This beautiful miniature shows him in an immaculately pale winged doublet and lace-edged standing collar, with the badge and blue sash of the Order of the Garter around his neck. Hilliard painted after James had inherited the throne of England from his mother's cousin, Elizabeth I, and moved to London, having ruled Scotland shrewdly and successfully for many years.

Nicholas Hilliard

Nicholas Hilliard

Born in Exeter, Hilliard came from a family of miniature painters. His first known miniature was made when he was thirteen years old. Hilliard was apprenticed to Robert Brandon, a London goldsmith and became a freeman of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1569. In addition to painting miniatures, Hilliard also produced a number of full-length portraits. He enjoyed royal patronage and painted Elizabeth I from life in 1572 and 1600. James I also employed Hilliard from 1603, giving him many commissions for miniatures and medals.