NICHOLAS HILLIARD (C. 1547–1619), SIR THOMAS BODLEY, 1598

Vellum on board in ivory case, 2 x 1 1/2 in. (5.1 x 3.8 cm)

This exquisite miniature portrait of Sir Thomas Bodley (1545–1613) bears a Latin inscription indicating the date of its creation, 1598, and the fact that the sitter was fifty-four years old. This was the year when he retired from diplomatic service under Queen Elizabeth I and decided to refound the library at Oxford. Nicholas Hilliard, the royal limner (miniaturist), was a childhood friend of Bodley. He was celebrated for his portraits of the queen and members of her court.




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