Self-portrait by Isaac Oliver. National Portrait Gallery.
Described as ‘a thing apart from all other painting or drawing’, the portrait miniatures of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods are some of the greatest works of art to be produced in the British Isles. Hilliard and Oliver were compared by their contemporaries to Michelangelo and Raphael, and gained international fame and admiration.
This will be the first major UK exhibition of these miniatures for a generation. It will explore what these intimate images reveal about identity, society and visual culture in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.