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A Brush with Royalty

last modified May 24, 2017 05:05 PM
The Hamilton Kerr Institute has just completed the restoration of two portraits attributed to Nicholas Hilliard

The Hamilton Kerr Institute has just completed the restoration of two portraits attributed to Nicholas Hilliard (c1547-1619). The paintings of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Amias Paulet can be viewed by the public for the first time at Waddesdon Manor between 7 June and 29 October 2017 as part of their special display Power and Portraiture: painting at the court of Elizabeth I. Removal of old, discoloured varnishes revealed the brilliant red of the original background and allows the original painting technique to be fully appreciated. More exciting still was that scientific analysis carried by the Hamilton Kerr Institute showed that the paintings were made on panels constructed of French Oak rather than the Baltic oak typically used by English painters of the period. Sir Amias Paulet was Elizabeth I’s ambassador to France from 1576-1579 and for part of that time Hilliard was a member of his retinue. The stylistic affinities with other works by Nicholas Hilliard, together with evidence that links these paintings to his time in France, have allowed scholars to attribute these paintings to Hilliard with great confidence.

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