Nicholas Hilliard, portrait of an unknown man

Nicholas Hilliard, portrait of an unknown man

Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)
Portrait of an unknown man
1572
Watercolour on vellum, stuck to a playing card with three hearts visible
Museum no. P.1-1942
Given by the National Art Collections Fund

In all miniatures of this date the vellum was stuck to a playing card to make a 'tablet'. The artist often did this in advance. The tablets were then ready-painted with different shades of flesh colour and the artist chose one that matched the sitter's complexion.