Three Louvre miniatures recently attributed to Isaac Oliver


1. Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)
Portrait of a Young Woman, 1605
Miniature on vellum - 5.5 x 4.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Christie’s

20/9/08 — Exhibition — Paris, Musée du Louvre — The current events room of the Departément des Arts Graphiques at the Louvre is offering an exhibition devoted to 16th century and early 17th century miniature portraits. It has been organized to celebrate the donation, a few months ago by the Amis du Louvre of a Nicolas Hilliard (ill. 1) purchased at auction in London (see news item of 10/12/07).

The exhibition provides the Louvre with the opportunity to reassess its small collection of miniatures and enrich it, thanks to new attributions, with three works probably due to Isaac Oliver, the other great miniature artist of the Elizabethan era in England. In the news item where we recounted the Hilliard acquisition, we pointed out that this was the second portrait by the artist to enter the Louvre collections. Another miniature, acquired in 1996, had indeed been published under this name and still appears as such on the computerized inventory. It now appears that this portrait might in fact be by Isaac Oliver.

2. Isaac Oliver (1547-1619)
Diana
Miniature on vellum - 8.5 x 7.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Musée du Louvre / M. Beck-Coppola

Another vellum, a male portrait, was until now considered to represent Anne de Joyeuse by an anonymous late 16th century French artist. This work, as well as a Diana ascribed to a 16th century Dutch artist (. 2), might also be by Oliver. They now join the two miniatures already held under this name.

Although the Louvre now only owns one Hilliard, the one donated by the Amis du Louvre, a Portrait of James I of England is now thought to be a copy by the master rather than an anonymous 16th century French artist.

Version française


Didier Rykner, samedi 20 septembre 2008



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