Portrait of Sir Anthony Mildmay, Knight of Apethorpe, Northants

Portrait of Sir Anthony Mildmay, Knight of Apethorpe, Northants

c. 1590–93

Nicholas Hilliard

(British, c. 1547-1619)

Watercolor on vellum mounted on card, mounted on wood

Unframed: 23.3 x 17.4 cm (9 3/16 x 6 7/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1926.554

Location

Fun Fact

A little dog gazes adoringly at Mildmay who was by all accounts a very arrogant man.

Description

Standing in a luxurious tent filled with beautiful furniture, Anthony Mildmay pauses while donning his gold-embellished armor. Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Mildmay was a member of the English royal court of King James I. He held several prominent positions, including ambassador to France and chancellor of the exchequer, responsible for the expenditures of the king and his court. Hilliard represents Mildmay preparing for a tournament surrounded by objects that allow the artist to feature a variety of rich textures including red velvet, blue ostrich feathers, and gleaming metal. Hilliard first trained as a goldsmith, which honed his keen sense of design and attention to minute detail. He was the first miniaturist to break away from painting smaller, bust-length portraits; instead, he portrayed his subjects in full-length and often in outdoor settings.

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