Nicholas Hilliard’s portrait miniatures are often regarded as unrealistic, artificial, and highly stylised fabrications, yet contemporary accounts frequently described them as “lively”. This complex word points towards a period conception of vividness, one that—in the case of limning—is intimately tied up with the materials and working methods of the limner. This, in turn, reflects on another genre of images, those of the New World painted by John White in the 1580s. While White’s images have often been placed in the long tradition of European watercolours, a more convincing view situates them within the Elizabethan vogue for limning. By considering limning’s reputation for immediacy and vividness in relation to these two genres of image, this paper foregrounds their vivid and persuasive effects, before considering how the “estrangfull” connotations of Virginian culture may have returned with White’s limnings to reflect again on later miniatures of costumed masquers at the Jacobean court.
The portrait miniatures of Nicholas Hilliard are often seen as highly unnaturalistic: “courtly, almost heraldic in [their] formality … [and] unrealistic”.1 His aesthetic is deemed “flat”, and his seeming lack of interest in perspective is cited as a deliberate attempt “to heighten artificiality—not to create a simulation of nature”.2 Yet this impression of self-conscious artifice, seemingly obvious to present-day writers, is a far cry from the responses of Hilliard’s contemporaries, for whom limnings represented the height of realism, or in their words, “liveliness”.3 The miniaturist’s methods and materials were seen as contributing to the startling sense of presence which Elizabethans saw and responded to in portrait miniatures, capturing the impression of a person so quickly that the distance between the sitter and their representation seemed almost to vanish.DOI
Yet, portrait miniatures weren’t the only “limnings” created in the sixteenth century. As this article will suggest, the qualities which portrait miniaturists and their audiences saw in their works diffused into limnings made in other contexts, notably in the watercolours of the people, flora, and fauna of the “New World” created by the gentleman-limner John White in the 1580s. Of course, most viewers of White’s images would have encountered them in the form of engravings by Theodor de Bry, who in 1590 issued them alongside Thomas Harriot’s account of the 1585 expedition in A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, translated into four languages.4 The most influential supporters of the voyage, however—the people who most needed convincing for Walter Ralegh’s colonial project to go ahead—would have encountered the “New World” first through the medium of White’s limnings. For these viewers, the connotations of immediacy and verisimilitude associated with limning as a medium heightened the images’ persuasive power. Finally, on its journey to the New World and in the service of costume books more generally, limning seems to have acquired connotations of foreignness and strangeness, which reflected back on and amplified the effects of later miniatures portraying sitters in masque costume. In examining these ideas, I hope to move the discussion on from the traditional focus on the ad vivum process of limnings, and on to the visual-rhetorical effects of eyewitnessing, which limnings more generally set out to produce for their viewers in a variety of contexts.
For Elizabethans, the portrait miniature or “limning” had the power to make its subject seem almost present to the viewer. Various episodes and descriptions from the period suggest that viewers thought of limnings as being particularly closely aligned with their sitters. For example on 3 February 1596, Henry Unton, the ambassador to France, wrote to Elizabeth I describing an encounter in which he showed her picture to the French monarch, Henri IV: having kissed the image “twice or thrice”, Unton reports, the king insisted on taking it, “vowing that […] to possess the favour of the lively picture he would forsake all the world”.5 Unton’s use of the word “lively” here is instructive. For Elizabethans the word had a variety of meanings, encompassing lifelikeness or alive-likeness, potency, and delightfulness, but it also described the vivid effects of a rhetorical technique known as hypotyposis or enargeia, the ability to bring the subject “before the eyes” of the viewer through vivid description.6 Within the rhetorical system, enargeia was deemed the most potent means of persuading or moving an audience, and, I argue, could also work in visual art form. As Unton wrote in the case of his diplomatic exchange: “I found that the dumb picture did draw on more speech and affection from him than all my best arguments and eloquence”.7DOI
As with the rest of the rhetorical system, the technique of enargeia would have been familiar to anyone who had received a humanist education, whether at the grammar school, university, or through a private tutor, while the principle of vivid representation as a powerful persuasive tool would have been absorbed into the culture more generally, as part of unconscious “habits of thought” and communication.8 Frequent references in Elizabethan culture to “lively” painted or crafted images, including portrait miniatures, suggest that real paintings were recognised as sharing this potent ability to present their subjects vividly and thus win over audiences.9 Of course, compared with the traditional, textual examples of enargeia, real painted or crafted images had a head start on the vivid visual effects associated with the technique, but to heighten their effectiveness such images could deploy a range of additional strategies to make viewers feel almost as if they were seeing the subject first-hand, and thus to persuade them of the validity of particular ideas or courses of action.10DOI
Limnings are a special case of the lively communicative mode that I will here refer to as painted enargeia. The miniature’s potency in this regard stemmed largely from two factors: its method of manufacture, particularly the process of creation in the presence of the sitter, and its materials. Limnings were a notably “quick” or immediate kind of representation.11 Unlike portraits in oil on panel or canvas, which could take months to complete, miniatures were painted over the course of three sittings, lasting between two and three hours each, with some additional finishing-up time for the costume and jewels. This relative speed of execution was made possible partly by the miniaturists’ use of fast-drying gum arabic as a binder, as opposed to the slower-drying oil medium.DOI
In light of various references in Hilliard’s own manuscript, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, and in the accounts of later miniaturists, Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire have suggested that miniatures were at least partly created in the presence of the sitter, the likeness being captured immediately in paint, rather than through intermediary stages such as preparatory sketches or underdrawings.12 For example, Hilliard recommends outlining the face in a reddish colour directly onto the pale pink of the “carnation” (flesh tone), “till you be sure you be in the right way”, suggesting an ad vivum process rather than copying from a preliminary sketch.13 Other references in Hilliard’s treatise contribute to this view of the artist painting in the sitter’s presence, as he recommends:
sweet odors [which] comforteth the braine and openeth the understanding, augmenting the delight in Limning, Discret talke or reading, quiet merth or musike ofendeth not, but shortneth the time, and quickneth the sperit both in the drawer, and he which is drawne.14
Meanwhile, the miniaturist Edward Norgate, writing circa 1648–1650—but who was familiar with both Hilliard’s and Isaac Oliver’s methods—suggests that the painting of the sitter’s costume and jewels could wait until the artist was “alone” (i.e. no longer in the presence of the sitter) when they could lay these items out and “take your owne time, to finish them, with as much neatnes and perfection as you please, or can”.15DOI
The process of painting directly onto vellum in the presence of the sitter contributed to limnings’ special reputation for immediacy and vividness. In A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, Hilliard stresses the speed at which he worked to “catch thosse lovely graces wittye smilings, and thosse stolne glances wch sudainely like light[n]ing passe and another Countenance taketh place”.16 Nor was this merely a rhetorical gesture: we can find evidence of Hilliard’s quickness of hand in the faces of his sitters. For present-day viewers, factors such as the fading of the red pigments used for modelling have exaggerated the linear quality of Hilliard’s portraits, but we can nevertheless detect his precise but economical methods in many of his sitters’ features. Hilliard’s portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh is typical: the eyes are rendered quite concisely, a single dark line for the upper lashes, a faint row of dots for the lower lashes, and an iris of two blue tones around a central pupil (Figs 1 and 2).17 Of course, as Norgate tells us, the actual process of finishing and working-up a miniature could take longer than the three sessions in front of a sitter, but the miniature’s reputation for having been created swiftly “from the life” was part of its special appeal.18 The image of the artist working quickly to capture a fleeting expression in paint emphasises observation over invention, suggesting an almost instant transfer of the likeness to the page, minimising the gulf between the sitter and their representation.
This proximity between representation and referent is also found in the miniaturist’s approach to rendering jewellery and gems. Poets praised Hilliard for his ability to “give to stones and pearles true die and light”, and the miniaturist himself claimed the ability to give “the true lustur to pearle and precious stone”.19 The surviving results of Hilliard’s particular working methods again reinforce these written claims. When representing jewellery of gold or silver, Hilliard used paint made from ground gold and silver metal (known as “shell gold” or “shell silver”), and to represent jewels he laid a drop of coloured resin over a base of burnished silver to create three-dimensional, translucent gemstones (Figs 3, 4, and 5).20 In his Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, Hilliard stresses the elite status conferred on limning by the use of precious materials, but also the directness of their representational quality: limning “worketh the metals Gold or Silver with themselfes which so enricheth and innobleth the worke that it seemeth to be the thinge it sefe even the worke of god and not of man”.21 As with the instantly captured likeness, the miniaturist’s materials offered a self-consciously direct and unmediated representation of reality.22
In the case of miniatures, the impression of reality—their propensity for painted enargeia—stemmed more from the medium’s reputation with Elizabethan viewers than from the fact of the artist’s ad vivum working process. This is suggested by the intensity of the behaviour recorded around portrait miniatures, regardless of whether they had actually been created “from the life”. In his autobiography, Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury describes coming upon Lady Ayres in her bed chamber, who was gazing at his miniature “with more earnestness and Passion than I cou’d easily have believ’d”. But the miniature in question, made by “Mr. Isaac the Painter in Blackfriars”, was based not on a sitting from the life, but rather taken from a large-scale oil portrait of Herbert by William Larkin which Lady Ayres secretly had copied before commissioning Oliver “to draw it in little after his manner”.23 What mattered was not so much the limning’s actual, ontological status as having been taken “from the life”, but rather its perceived ability to capture reality swiftly and directly, and at a small, intimate scale.DOI
When it comes to the vivid and persuasive power of limning more generally, I want to suggest a shift in emphasis, away from the truth-claims of a limning done ad vivum (particularly the idea that miniaturists “only ever paint what they see before them”),24 to the more general impression of eyewitnessing that these works offered to the viewer. This impression seems to have attached itself to the medium of limning more generally: from an appreciation of the portrait limner’s works and a general knowledge of their methods, viewers came to associate the medium of watercolour painting or limning with a particularly direct or immediate experience of the person represented—an association which persists to this day.25 This was to have implications for the limnings created in other contexts in the late sixteenth century, notably the images of the New World painted by John White during the 1585 voyage to Roanoke, in the land the Elizabethans called “Virginia”.
“Collected and Counterfeited According to the Truth”: John White’s American LimningsDOI
On 9 April 1585, five English ships containing five to six hundred men set sail for North America under the leadership of Sir Richard Grenville. The expedition aimed primarily to set up a colony on “Roanoke Island”, where a successful reconnaissance mission the year before had established positive relations with Wingina, the local chief or “weroan”, but the visitors were also tasked with surveying the land and reporting on its resources for investors and other interested parties back in England. Among those on board was John White, a painter and a “Gentleman”, who worked in collaboration with the scholar, mathematician, and navigator Thomas Harriot to produce the maps, images, and text, which would serve to promote the colony in England.26 The surviving images associated with White are watercolours on paper—“limnings” in Elizabethan terms—and show a variety of subjects. Most are images of the people, flora, and fauna of the “New World” (Figs 11, 12, 13, 14; 16, 17; 19–28 below), but among the works associated with him we also find costume studies of foreign peoples, and imagined representations of ancient Britons and Picts, whose exact relationship to the American images has been explained to varying degrees of satisfaction (Figs 6, 7, 8, 9; 31, 32).27DOI
The exact nature of the instructions given to John White as the Virginia expedition’s artist have not survived, but an idea of his duties can be gleaned from other sources. Plans for an earlier voyage of reconnaissance to the Americas under the patronage of Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1582–1583 referred to the duties and equipment of a surveyor and artist, named in the document as Thomas Bavin. According to the incomplete instructions surviving in Edward Hoby’s commonplace book, Bavin was expected to make detailed maps on which he would record not only the features of the landscape, but also the flora and fauna discovered in each area. In addition, he was to “drawe to life all strange birdes beastes fishes plantes hearbes Trees and fruictes and bring home of each sorte as nere as you may” and also “drawe the figures and shapes of men and women in their apparell as also of their manner of wepons in every place as you shall finde them differing”.28 To this end, Bavin was to:
carry with him good store of parchments, Paper Ryall, Quills, and Inck, black powder to make yncke, and of all sortes of colours to drawe all thinges to life, gumme, pensyll, a stone to grinde Colours, mouth glue, black lead, 2 payres of brazen Compasses, And other Instrumentes to drawe cardes and plottes.29
and his assistants were never to let Bavin “go att any tyme without a payer of writing Tables”.30 Although this expedition never took place, David Beers Quinn suggests that Bavin’s role was equivalent to that of John White on the 1585 voyage, and apart from the more detailed, mathematical aspects of the surveying—which were probably carried out in close collaboration with Thomas Harriot—White’s surviving works suggest he followed similar instructions.31DOI
That Walter Ralegh and his collaborators were aware of the important role a painter might play on the voyage is indicated by a document of 1584–1585 written by Richard Hakluyt the Elder, titled “Inducements to the Liking of the Voyage Intended Towards Virginia in 40. and 42. degrees of latitude”, now known only through its inclusion in a 1602 publication. This was the second version of Hakluyt’s “Inducements”, which in published form aimed mainly to drum up publicity and support, financial and practical, for the expedition.32 Here he recommends that: “A skilful painter is also to be caried with you which the Spaniards used commonly in all their discoveries to bring the descriptions of all beasts, birds, fishes, townes, &c.”33 Hakluyt is probably thinking of figures such as Francisco Hernández, who returned to Spain from Mexico in 1577, carrying thousands of watercolours completed over a seven-year period, the originals of which were sadly destroyed in a fire at El Escorial in 1671.34 Documents relating to the actual preparations for Ralegh’s 1585 voyage vary in their completeness, but we find one further reference to an artist in a document titled “For master Rauleeys Viage” or “Notes geven to Master Candishe [Thomas Cavendish]”: in a list of the professions and skilled men who should accompany the voyage, the anonymous author recommends a “good geographer to make discription of the landes discoverd, and with him an exilent paynter”.35DOI
John White was the “exilent paynter” ultimately selected for the voyage. Little is known about this man beyond his involvement in the Virginia voyages, and the exact nature of his background and artistic training is still a matter of debate. The first record of him in London is his marriage to Thomasine Cooper at St Martin Ludgate in 1566. Their children, Thomas and Elinor, were born in April 1567 and May 1568 respectively, and Thomas was buried December 1568. For the ill-fated 1587 trip, John White was appointed Governor of the prospective colony and granted a coat of arms, which illustrated his descent from an ancient Cornish family.36 As Kim Sloan has shown, Ralegh had the power to grant arms to all his gentlemen assistants, whether or not their pedigrees entitled them to bear arms. However, she notes other evidence that suggests White was independently a “Gentleman” of wealth and status; he took armour and framed pictures on the 1587 voyage, and there are indications that he was used to travelling with servants, while his written accounts and drawings show that he had received a humanistic education beyond the usual educational level of an artisan or “small merchant”.37
Even more elusive is the issue of White’s artistic training: we don’t know where he learned to “limn”, or from whom. A John White is listed as a member of the Painter-Stainers’ Company in 1580, although it is not clear if this is the same man; furthermore, members of the guild didn’t generally work in watercolour on paper. However, the Painter-Stainers did work closely with the Office of the Revels, making scenery, costumes, and props for court entertainments: White’s involvement with the Company could therefore explain the presence of costume studies among the surviving albums associated with him (Figs 6, 7, 8 and 9).38 Exactly who taught White to limn is a mystery, although Mary Edmond noted a potential, if tenuous, connection between Nicholas Hilliard and White through Hilliard’s 1591 sitter Leonard Darr (sometimes “Dare”) and Ananias Dare, husband of White’s daughter Elinor, though as Edmond notes Dare/Darr was not an uncommon surname at this time.39DOI
Most recently, Edward Town has linked John White to a broader network of Painter-Stainers and surveyors, suggesting that White’s wife Thomasine Cooper was the daughter of the Painter-Stainer John Cooper, and that White may have been following tradition in marrying the daughter of his master on completion of his apprenticeship. Town also points to the probability that White was trained as a surveyor, with a map of Ficketts Fields, now in the Society of Antiquaries, attributed to him.40 A background in surveying would fit with the evidence of White’s watercolours from the Virginia voyage, some of which represent surveys of fortifications erected en route to Roanoke Island (Fig. 10).41
Katherine Coombs has noted the tendency to group John White’s images with wider traditions of watercolour painting, one spreading across Europe and encompassing the likes of Albrecht Dürer, Anthony Van Dyck, and Peter Paul Rubens, another reaching into the eighteenth century and the vogue for landscape watercolours in Britain. Coombs shows that, on the contrary, White’s images are more fittingly situated in the Elizabethan “limning” tradition. White as a gentleman-artist fits neatly into this tradition: the “gentle” qualities of limning were stressed by Nicholas Hilliard in his Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning (particularly found in the “fineness and expense of the materials and tools”) and educational theorists recommended that young aristocrats be taught to draw, for the purposes of recording fortifications and making maps of estates.42
Coombs also notes important differences between White’s limnings and the fine portraiture tradition in which Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver were working, in particular the fact that White worked on paper, rather than vellum, and started with a light sketch in graphite (called “black lead” by the Elizabethans) before adding paint. Furthermore, his handling of the paint is quite dense, especially in flesh areas, contrasting with the work of the famous miniaturists who used light touches and hatchings to model facial features (e.g. Figs 11, 12, 13 and 14). However, she also points out that there are significant points of contact between White’s limnings and the limnings in the fine art tradition, notably in the use of paint made from ground gold and silver to represent precious metals.43 For example, the surface of Hilliard’s circa 1595–circa 1600 portrait of Elizabeth I, now in the V&A in London, fizzes and sparkles with jewels rendered in shell gold, while the sheen of each pearl is suggested with a dot of silver (Fig. 15). Similarly, John White used gold and sometimes silver paint to represent the jewellery worn by the subjects of his drawings, for example, the earring worn by Wingina, the Indian “werowance” or chief (Fig. 12). Subsequent damage to the images through fire and flood has resulted in large losses, particularly of the precious metal pigments, which tended to sit on top of other pigment layers. These have often transferred to the “offset” images on the sheets which previously interleaved the album pages, for example, in the image of the Wife of an Indian “Werowance” or Chief of Pomeiooc and her Daughter, where the offset reveals that White used gold paint on the necklace worn by the small girl and on the English doll in her hands (Fig. 16).44
A further comparison can be drawn between the fine art miniaturists and John White in their more abstract use of gold and silver paint, notably in the depiction of flames. Two miniatures of young men among flames, one by Hilliard (Fig. 17), and the other by Oliver, employ gold paint, giving the impression of a real flickering fire when held and moved in the hand.45 This compares to John White’s images, in which gold appears among the flames of most of the fires represented in the drawings. This is most obvious in A Camp Fire Ceremony (Fig. 18), but can also be seen in the fire in front of An Ossuary Temple (Fig. 19), in the fire in the centre of The Town of Pomeiooc (Fig. 20), and among the flames in the canoe in the scene of Indians Fishing, which shows how the Algonquians attracted fish to the boat at night (Fig. 21). Interestingly, White also used shell silver (paint made from ground silver) in his images of fish, covering much of the body to mimic the shine of their scales for viewers at home, for example, in the image of the Flying Fish (“Bolador”) (Fig. 22), the Lookdown (“Polometa”) (Figs 23 and 24) and the Grouper “Mero” (Figs 25 and 26). However, Janet Ambers et al. note that this is now often in worse condition than the remaining gold, badly tarnished and so difficult to distinguish from the graphite outlines: a problem also found in portrait miniatures, where silver dots on pearls and diamonds have now often tarnished to black.46 Although White’s handling of paint is in general very different from that of a court artist, such as Nicholas Hilliard, his imaginative and decorative use of precious metal pigments suggests he is working in much the same tradition as these more famous “limners”.
The question of when White made his New World drawings is difficult to answer. Thomas Bavin, the proposed artist for the earlier voyage under Sir Humphrey Gilbert, was advised to take “all sortes of colours to drawe all thinges to life, gumme, pensyll [paintbrush], a stone to grinde Colours”, implying that he would paint images “in the field”.47 Timea Tallian argues that we don’t know whether White painted his images during his stay or back in England, but that he most probably sketched costumes and other features from life, working up his studies into paintings or making nature studies from conserved specimens later on, “in an enclosed studio either abroad or at home”. Tallian also notes White’s formulas for particular body parts, such as the feet with an elongated big toe, suggesting that he was not working entirely from life.48DOI
DOI At this point, we might also recall Hilliard’s very particular advice for aspiring limners, that the studio in which they work should be north facing to give an even light, a place “wher neither dust, smoak, noisse, nor steanche may ofend”, and that the limner should wear “silke, such as sheadeth lest dust or haires”.49 Although Hilliard is talking about much finer, more delicate images than White’s larger-scale works on paper, his advice is not entirely irrelevant. Even in their damaged state, many of White’s images are neat, careful works, and would have required a steady hand and a sheltered environment; for example, the precise and delicate two-tone shading of the tiny figures carrying salt to the ship in the Plan of an Entrenchment near Cape Rojo, Puerto Rico (Fig. 27). Considered in this light, it seems more probable that the surviving images were worked up at a later date, even back in England, where the originals were also copied for distribution among various important supporters and patrons, by White himself and also by other artists.50 We might, then, ask what the opening inscription in the John White album really means when it refers to these “pictures of sondry things collected and counterfeited according to the truth”.51
Ever since the disappointment of Martin Frobisher’s voyages in the late 1570s, the queen had refused financial support to New World ventures personally, and Walter Ralegh had to rely on private investment from individuals and companies. Many of these people were merchants, such as William Sanderson, and members of the Inns of Court, while others came from the upper echelons of the Elizabethan court, for example, Francis Walsingham and William Cecil. Sets of White’s images would have been circulated among these influential investors and others, with the intention of demonstrating the successes of the venture thus far and attracting further support. This suggests that, while the “rhetorical” quality of the written accounts of the voyages’ discoveries is easily recognised, the John White images themselves should also be considered as part of this persuasive project, and their status as, in Stephanie Pratt’s words, “visual imagining[s]” more than authentic “eyewitness record” emphasised.52DOI
The issue of “authenticity” in images which describe themselves as “counterfeits” has been much discussed of late in the context of so-called “epistemic images”, defined variously as images “made with the intention of expressing, demonstrating or illustrating a theory”, or as images which do not merely illustrate but rather “replace”, or substitute for, the object of study.53 Peter Parshall’s study of the word “counterfeit” in early modern visual contexts stresses its “insistent claim to truth”, suggesting that when the word appears on a print the image is aligning itself with a “special order of legitimacy”.54 For Parshall, this claim to legitimacy is grounded in the image’s process of creation from the life: the truth conveyed by the images is “implicitly or explicitly a truth based upon the testimony of direct witness”.55 It could be said that a similar model applies to the White images, which also describe themselves as “counterfeits”, and which were made by a first-hand witness based on sketches and studies done in situ.DOI
Yet, such images do more than just bear witness to the artist’s experience of the things represented. Richard Serjeantson has discussed Renaissance testimony in relation to the art of rhetoric, showing that it was considered a “proof”: part of inventio—the finding-out of arguments—and therefore coming as much under the remit of logic as rhetoric.56 Serjeantson also suggests, however, that the deployment of testimony by rhetoricians could “shade into” elocutio or style, where it became a figure of speech, intended to lend credence and forcefulness to an account.57 If we consider the “counterfeited” image as a kind of testimony, that is, part proof and part style, then its power is not derived purely from the circumstances of its creation, but also from the effect that it was expected to have on its audience. Taking this further, we can make a connection with enargeia or hypotyposis, the rhetorical technique which brought the scene “before their eyes” of an audience and made them feel as if they had witnessed it for themselves.DOI
The persuasive effects of this impression of witnessing come through partly in the images’ subject matter. Joyce E. Chaplin has stressed the “selective portrait”, which White’s images present of the Algonquian people for the purposes of propaganda, noting the double meaning of the word “counterfeit”, which carried connotations of falsehood through imitation and artifice. For example, White’s images stress the natural abundance of the land of “Virginia”, perfect for supporting an English colony; the inhabitants’ clothing intimates the warmth of the climate; the details of the costume and material culture, such as woven matting, beaded detailing, and a variety of materials such as leather, fur, shell horn, and wood stressed native ingenuity and their “excellencie of wit”, making them suitable partners for trade and alliance. Meanwhile, the inclusion of specific characters and attributes, such as an archer with his bow and wrist-brace, were intended to appeal to the English audience’s own values, recalling, for example, the English prowess with the long-bow at the Battle of Agincourt, heightening English respect for the Algonquians and demonstrating their potential for cultural as well as religious conversion (Fig. 28).58
In this way, the detail and copiousness of White’s images would have contributed to their persuasiveness for investors and supporters. Yet, not just the subject matter, but also White’s chosen medium—“limning”—would have contributed its own particular “testimonial” effect for the viewer. Whether White made the images literally “from the life” in the field or worked them up later from sketches and notes didn’t really matter as far as the images’ persuasive power was concerned. This was because, for an Elizabethan audience, limning brought powerful associations of its own. Thanks largely to Hilliard and his pupil Oliver, limning had gained a reputation for quick, direct impressions captured in the moment, in the presence of the sitter. These meanings accrued to limnings regardless of the actual point of origin of the works (see, for example, the Herbert of Cherbury anecdote above), adhering mainly to the medium itself, growing out of its reputation for portability and “gentility”. John White, as a visitor to the New World, had seen the subjects of his images with his own eyes, and was thus in a position to confirm their veracity: they were, the title-page states, “collected and counterfeited according to the truth”.59 Yet, as limnings, the images didn’t just provide a guarantee of accuracy on the part of the artist-witness; rather, the medium’s reputation for speed and directness of representation—both in its methods and in the materials—contributed to the viewer’s own sense of direct access to the subject, almost as if they were witnessing it for themselves.DOI
Much of a limning’s value lay in its power to move and persuade the viewer to some particular point of view or action, and this applied both to portrait miniatures and to John White’s images. In the case of the miniature, the medium’s reputation for vividness cemented its position in a social exchange, whether the images were being used to persuade a foreign monarch to support and respect the English queen, as described by Henry Unton above, to make sure of the support of a friend or follower, or even to secure the affections of a lover, as with the young man against flames. In such examples, limning’s reputation for immediacy and vividness would have heightened the image’s impact, giving it its social power and explaining its popularity with Elizabeth I and her courtiers, at a time in which political rule relied explicitly on personal relationships. On the other hand, to make a success of his ventures, Ralegh needed investment, practical help, and political favour with the higher elements of Elizabeth’s government, and White’s limnings—alongside Thomas Harriot’s written accounts—were valued for their vivid depictions of the new knowledge and discoveries made by Ralegh’s colonists, advertising in the most powerful way possible the gains available to investors and supporters of the venture. In both cases, limning’s perceived ability to create a sense of painted enargeia is paramount to the images’ powerful persuasive effects.
“Altogether estrangfull, and Indian like”: Curious Limning and the English Court MasqueDOI
Already associated with the neo-medieval atmosphere of Elizabeth I’s Accession Day Tilts, in the early seventeenth century limnings started to be made of participants in the other great genre of royal entertainment: the masque. Besides Isaac Oliver’s miniatures of Henry Prince of Wales and Anne of Denmark in classicising masque costumes, there survive several portraits of unknown ladies, also by Oliver’s hand, richly attired in silk, lace, precious stones, and metal ornaments, who were probably also Jacobean “maskers” (Figs 29 and 30). While there also exist several examples of large-scale oil portraits of sitters—usually female—in masque costume, limning seems especially well-suited to the recording of the rich and jewel-encrusted costumes worn by participants of the Jacobean masques, thanks to its precious materials, special method of creation, and reputation as a “curiosity” or “wonder”.60
Limning’s reputation for “curiosity” was well established, at least by the early seventeenth century, as can be seen from the embassy of Sir Thomas Roe at the court of the Mughal ruler Jahangir. When asked what gifts he would bring to cement their friendship, and to negotiate a delicate agreement for English merchants to access Mughal ports, Roe described the “many Curiosityes … to be found in our Country of rare price and estimation”, promising not the jewels which originated in Jahangir’s own territories, but rather “rare here and unseene, as excellent artifices in Paynting, carving, Cutting, enamelling, figures in brasse, copper, or stone, rich embroderyes, stuffs of gould and silver”.61 While generally paintings “lardge, on cloth” were to be favoured, Anne-Valérie Dulac notes that, in July 1616, Roe selected a very different scale of picture to impress the Emperor, a portrait miniature by Isaac Oliver:
I had a Pickture of a frend of myne that I esteemed very much, and was for Curiositye rare, which I would give his Maiestie as a present, seeing hee so much affected that art; assuring myselfe he never saw any equall to it, neyther was any thing more esteemed of mee.62
Dulac notes a further use of the word “curious” about the limning in Roe’s chaplain’s account of this event:
[I]t happened that my Lord Ambassadour, visiting the Mogol on a time, as he did often, He presented him with a curious neat small oval Picture done to the life in England. The Mogol was much pleased with it, but told the Ambassadour withall, that happily he supposed there was never one in his Countrey that could do so well in that curious Art.63
As Dulac notes, the word “curious” here refers both to the delicacy and skill of the artist’s methods, producing such a detailed likeness at such a small scale, as well as to the object’s rarity.64 Unfortunately for Roe, Jahangir’s own valuation of the miniature was lower than expected: rather than being awestruck by the supposedly inimitable skill of the English miniaturist, he immediately commissioned his own court artist to produce five close copies of Oliver’s work. However, the fact that Roe felt Oliver’s painting would impress Jahangir is testament to limning’s domestic reputation for curiosity, even if this didn’t easily translate across borders.DOI
For different reasons, John White’s limnings of the New World would also have been regarded as “curiosities”. As images of newly discovered territories and peoples, White’s drawings and their many copies would have been a perfect fit for the growing “cabinet of curiosity”, like those that had been curated on the continent by scholars such as Ulisse Aldrovandi, who ordered copies of New World watercolours for his own curiosity cabinet.65 The appetite for such images was partly driven by a sense of expanding knowledge about the world and a proto-ethnographic interest in the appearance and customs of foreign peoples. For sixteenth-century English audiences, dress was a key marker of status, thanks to the continually renewed Sumptuary Laws, which in theory dictated the colours, materials, and styles of clothing according to rank. Yet, even after 1604, when James I had abolished these laws, costume continued to be seen as a marker of cultural identity.66DOI
Besides the proto-ethnographic impulse, which scholars have located in the popularity of images such as John White’s, the information they contained about foreign dress and customs could also be put to less scientific but more spectacular and entertaining uses. As noted above, John White’s collection of limnings also includes images of foreign costume, such as Turks and Greeks (Figs 6, 7 and 8) and an Italian doge (Fig. 9), as well as fantastical images of ancient Britons of Picts (Figs 31 and 32) which Kim Sloan has linked to White’s possible connection with the Office of Revels, responsible for the design and creation of costumes and scenery for the court entertainments.67 Indeed, the Virginians or the “Indians” themselves make one or two appearances in court masques of the early seventeenth century, most notably in the entertainment The Memorable Maske, written by George Chapman, with costumes designed by Inigo Jones, performed to celebrate the nuptials of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick V, elector Palatine on 15 February 1613.68
Paid for and performed by members of the Middle Temple and Lincoln’s Inn, The Memorable Maske saw the performers process through London in “cars” (horse-drawn stages or floats), as well as on horseback and on foot, from the house of Sir Edward Phelips to Whitehall Banqueting House. Jones’ costumes for “the chiefe Maskers, in Indian habits” are described in luscious detail:
the ground cloath of silver, richly embroidered, with golden Sunns, and about every Sunne, ran a traile of gold, imitating Indian worke, : their bases of the same stuffe and work, but betwixt every pane of embroidery, went a rowe of white Estridge feathers, mingled with sprigs of golde plate; under their breasts, they woare bawdricks of golde, embroidered high with purle, and about their neckes, Ruffes of feathers, spangled with pearle and silver. On their heads high sprig’d-feathers, compast in Coronets, like the Virginian Princes they presented. Betwixt every set of feathers, and about their browes, in the under-part of their Coronets, shin’d Sunnes of golde plate, sprinkled with pearle, from whence sprung rayes of the like plate, that mixing with the motion of the feathers, shew’d exceedingly delightfull, and gracious. Their legges were adorn’d, with close long white silke-stockings : curiously embroidered with golde to the Middle-legge. And over these (being on horse backe) they drew greaves or buskins embrodered with gould, & enterlac’t with rewes of fethers; Altogether estrangfull, and Indian like.69
Chapman’s description rattles with precious metals, jewels, and special effects, his emotive language recreating the powerful effects these costumes had on the onlookers: “delightfull”, “gracious”, “curious”, and “estrangfull”. No miniatures are known to survive of maskers dressed in “Indian” costume, whether from this masque or any other, but the gold and silver, pearls and feathers, “spangled” and glimmering as the performers moved, reads like a description of the portrait limnings of other figures in masque costume more generally. For example, Isaac Oliver’s Lady in Masque Costume (Flora) of circa 1613 (Fig. 30), who wears a costume of cloth of silver and gold, sprinkled with pearls, rendered with real silver paint: her breasts exposed, her hair adorned with flowers—far removed from the everyday representation of even the most elaborate aristocratic costumes, but not unlike the “estrangfull” images of John White, particularly his Wife of an Indian “Weroance” or his A Pictish Woman (Figs 13 and 32). Here the exotic and the extravagant are connected for early modern viewers through their shared use of precious materials, intricate, “curious” workmanship and their mesmerising effects.DOI
As Lauren Working has suggested, many of the members of the Inns of Court who performed in this masque were themselves investors and supporters of the Virginian Company (est. 1606).70 The presentation of the Indians, once again adorned with the precious metals and commodities which investors hoped to find and commandeer in the New World, would itself have been intended to have a powerful persuasive effect on the viewer, encouraging further support and investment in the Virginia Company’s projects. But here, the usual materials of the portrait limner’s art—gold, silver, pearls, and elite textiles—are given altogether more “estrangfull” connotations through their association with the participants’ “Indian” costume.DOI
In light of these combined associations, it may be that the medium’s popularity for the recording of “curious” masque costume more generally was fuelled by the “estrangfull” qualities which limning picked up after John White’s use of limning to depict the inhabitants of “Virginia”—at least among the most elite viewers who had seen his images first-hand. In any case, the vivid, immediate, and powerful connotations that the medium itself had acquired through the talent and advocation of earlier artists such as Nicholas Hilliard—its propensity for painted enargeia—would have amplified limning’s power to speak to its audiences, whether on behalf of the most elite court sitter, or investors in England’s colonial ventures in the New World.
This article grew out of research done for the “Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2017–2019, during which time I was supported by a generous grant from the University of Cambridge AHRC DTP Student Development Fund. I would like to thank Catharine MacLeod, Alexander Marr, Grant Lewis, Baillie Card, and my anonymous reviewers for their help with and comments on this article at various stages.
About the author
Christina Faraday is a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge. In 2017–2019, she was a Curatorial Intern at the National Portrait Gallery, London, working on the exhibition “Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver”, and since 2019 she has been an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker. She is currently developing a monograph based on her PhD thesis, Liveliness in Tudor Art and working on a new project about relationships between Tudor art, rhetoric, and music.
Carl Winter, “Hilliard and Elizabethan Miniatures”, The Burlington Magazine (July 1947), 183.1
Roy Strong, The English Renaissance Miniature (London: Thames and Hudson, 1983), 135; Christy Anderson, “The Secrets of Vision in Renaissance England”, Studies in the History of Art, 59, Symposium Papers XXXVI: The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished, edited by Lyle Massey (2003), 323.2
For examples of “lively” limning, see below. In this use of “realism”, I follow Paul Binski, for whom it denotes the effects of the rhetorical technique of enargeia, which makes the subject seem almost present to the viewer: “a particular capacity, partly or even wholly non-representational, to portray the world convincingly”, one that should be “judged not by its correspondence but by its effect on an audience”; Paul Binski, Gothic Sculpture (New Haven, CT: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, 2019), 59.3
Thomas Harriot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (Frankfurt am Main: Johann Wechel, Theodore de Bry, and Sigmund Fierabend, 1590).4
Letter from Sir Henry Unton to Elizabeth I, dated 3 February 1596, edited by W. Murdin, A Collection of State Papers Relating to Affairs in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth from the Year 1571 to 1596 (London: William Bowyer, 1759), 718. See also R.G., The Famous Historie of Albions Queene (London: W. White for T. Pauier, 1600), B3v, in which Queen Katherine is said to have “most kindly kissed her Husbandes lively Picture, which as then hanged about her necke by a fair chaine or rundle of Gold”—clearly a reference to a portrait miniature.5
Christina J. Faraday, “The Concept of ‘Liveliness’ in English Visual Culture, c.1560–c.1630”, PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2019, 27–41; and 43–55.6
Letter from Sir Henry Unton to Elizabeth I, dated 3 February 1596, in Murdin, A Collection of State Papers Relating to Affairs in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, 719.7
For “rhetorical” habits of thought, see Andrew Morrall, “Inscriptional Wisdom and the Domestic Arts in Early Modern Northern Europe”, in Natalia Filatkina, Birgit Ulrike Münch, and Ane Kleine-Engel (eds), Formelhaftigkeit in Text und Bild (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2012), 129 and n. 37; Peter Mack, “Renaissance Habits of Reading”, in Sukanta Chaudhuri (ed.), Renaissance Essays for Kitty Scoular Datta (Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1995), 1–25; see also Peter Mack, Elizabethan Rhetoric: Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).8
Faraday, “The Concept of ‘Liveliness’ in English Visual Culture”, 57–69.9
For further discussion, ibid.10
The words “quick” and “lively” are listed together in Richard Huloet’s French, Latin, and English dictionary of 1572, along with Latin animatus, vividus, and vivus and French aliagre and vif, all having connotations of life, animation, potency, and spiritedness, see Huloets dictionarie newelye corrected (London: Thomas Marsh, 1572), Ll4r.11
Katherine Coombs and Alan Derbyshire, “Nicholas Hilliard’s Workshop Practice Reconsidered”, in Tarnya Cooper, Aviva Burnstock, Maurice Howard, and Edward Town (eds), Painting in Britain 1500–1630 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015), 245–248.12
Victoria Button, Katherine Coombs, and Alan Derbyshire, “Limning, the Perfection of Painting: The Art of Painting Miniatures”, in Catharine MacLeod (ed.), Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver, exhibition catalogue (London, National Portrait Gallery, 2019), 23–24.13
Nicholas Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, edited by R.K.R. Thornton and T.G.S. Cain (Manchester: Carcanet, 1981), 74–75. In this passage, Hilliard does not explicitly say whether he is limning or making preparatory sketches in the presence of his sitters, but the suggestion that odours and music will “augment […] the delight in Limning” (my emphasis) suggests a sitting at which painting is taking place.14
Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell (eds), Edward Norgate, Miniatura or the Art of Limning (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), 79; cited in Coombs and Derbyshire, “Nicholas Hilliard’s Workshop Practice Reconsidered”, 248.15
Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, 76–77.16
For comparable examples and a more extended discussion of the economy of Hilliard’s style, see Christina J. Faraday, “‘It Seemeth to be the Thing Itsefe’: Directness and Intimacy in Nicholas Hilliard’s Portrait Miniatures”, Études Épistémè 36 (2019), online at: https://journals.openedition.org/episteme/.17
Muller and Murrell, Edward Norgate, 79; cited in Coombs and Derbyshire, “Nicholas Hilliard’s Workshop Practice Reconsidered”, 248.18
Henry Constable, “To Mr. Hilliard upon occasion of a picture he made of my Ladie Rich. Sonet 7.”, edited by Joan Grundy, The Poems of Henry Constable (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960), 158; and Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, 62–63.19
Coombs and Derbyshire, “Nicholas Hilliard’s Workshop Practice Reconsidered”, 248–249.20
Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, 62–64.21
See Faraday, “It Seemeth to be the Thing Itsefe”.22
Edward Herbert of Cherbury, The Life of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, edited by Horace Walpole (London: Strawberry Hill, 1764), 84–85.23
Strong, The English Renaissance Miniature, 9.24
For example, Strong, The English Renaissance Miniature: “these objects present the men and women of their age as they really were”. My emphasis.25
Kim Sloan, A New World: England’s First View of America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 250.26
For the Picts, see Sam Smiles, “John White and British Antiquity: Savage Origins in Tudor Historiography”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices, British Museum Research Publication 172 (London: British Museum, 2009), 106–112; for the more puzzling costume studies of foreigners, see Michael Gaudio, “The Truth in Clothing: The Costume Studies of John White and Lucas de Heere”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices, 24–32, esp. 27–28.27
Anon, “Instructions for a Voyage of Reconnaissance to North America in 1582 or 1583”, from BL Add. MS 38823, ff.1–8, transcribed in David Beers Quinn (ed.), A New American World: A Documentary History of North America to 1612, 5 volumes, Vol. 3 (New York: Arno Press, 1979), 239–245, esp. 242 and 244.28
Anon, “Instructions for a Voyage of Reconnaissance to North America in 1582 or 1583”, 239–245, esp. 242 and 244.29
Anon, “Instructions for a voyage of reconnaissance to North America in 1582 or 1583”, 239–245, esp. 242 and 244.30
David Beers Quinn, The Roanoke Voyages 1584–90, Hakluyt Society Series 2, Vols 104–105, Vol. 104 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1955), 52.31
Quinn, The Roanoke Voyages 1584–90, Vol. 104, 19.32
Richard Hakluyt the Elder, “Inducements to the Liking of the Voyage Intended towards Virginia in 40. and 42. Degrees” (ca. 1584–1585), published in John Brereton, A Briefe and True Relation of the Discoverie of the North Part of Virginia (1602), transcribed in full in David Beers Quinn (ed.), A New American World: A Documentary History of North America to 1612 (New York: Arno Press, 1979), Vol. 3, Document 360, 69.33
Florike Egmond, “Nature and Natural History: Introduction and Summary”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 42.34
Quinn, The Roanoke Voyages 1584–90, Vol. 104, 135. For a discussion of possible authors, see 19–20.35
Sloan, A New World, 24–25: the arms granted to White had eight quarterings: the first was an ermine with a fuzell argent (a silver diamond) from Ralegh’s coat of arms, a reward for his service; the second was a chevron between three coats’ heads razed sables (the White family arms); and the remaining six represented other family associations, four indicating heiress-marriages.36
Sloan, A New World, 26.37
Sloan notes a single mention of a John White in the record of the Office of Revels, who was paid 22 shillings for “the parcell gilding of two Armors compleat for Mr Tresham and Mr Knowles being two of the Knightes in the Amasons Maske”; Albert Feuillerat (ed.), Documents Relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth (Louvain: A. Uystpruyst, 1908), 294, cited in Sloan, A New World, 30.38
Mary Edmond, Hilliard and Oliver: The Lives and Works of Two Great Miniaturists (London: Robert Hale, 1983), 101–102.39
Edward Town, “Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, A Young Daughter of the Picts, ca.1585”, in Martina Droth, Nathan Flis, and Michael Hatt (eds), Britain in the World: Highlights from the Yale Centre for British Art (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019), 16–19.40
See, for example, “Plan of a fortified encampment at Mosquetal (Tallaboa Bay), Puerto Rico”, BM 1906,0509.1.4, and “Plan of an entrenchment near Cape Rojo, Puerto Rico”, BM 1906,0509.1.5.41
For example, Thomas Elyot, The Boke Named the Governour (London, 1531), Chapter 8 referred to in Katherine Coombs, “‘A Kind of Gentle Painting’: Limning in 16th-Century England”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 77–84. For more on the various contemporary contexts into which White’s work could have fitted, see Kim Sloan, “Knowing John White: The Courtier’s ‘Curious and Gentle Art of Limning’”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), A New World: England’s First View of America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 22–37.42
Coombs, “‘A Kind of Gentle Painting’”, 77–84.43
Janet Ambers, Duncan Hook, and Antony Simpson, “John White’s Watercolours: Analysis of the Pigments”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 69–70.44
Alexander Marr, 'Burning Ambition: Isaac Oliver's A Man Consumed By Flames (c.1600-1610)', Apollo Magazine, September 2020, 58-63 suggests that Oliver's miniature depicts the early Virginia colonist William Strachey (1572-1621). This article appeared too late for full discussion in this article, but suggests compelling further links between English limners and colonists.45
Ambers, Hook, and Simpson, “John White’s Watercolours”, 69–70.46
Anon, “Instructions for a Voyage of Reconnaissance to North America in 1582 or 1583”, 242.47
Timea Tallian, “John White’s Materials and Techniques”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 72.48
Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, 72–75.49
For example, the problematic “Sloane Album” drawings, which are probably a mixture of works by White and an assistant, perhaps a relative or another artist at court; see Kim Sloan, “The Sloane Volume of Watercolours Associated with John White”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), A New World: England’s First View of America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 225; for an interesting alternative take on the problem of the relationship between the White images and the Sloane album, and the issue of copying in White’s drawings more generally, see also Sally Birch, “Through an Artist’s Eyes: Observations on Aspects of Copying in Two Groups of Work by John White, c.1585–90”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 85–96.50
The quote in full states: “The pictures of sondry things collected and counterfeited according to the truth in the voyage made by Sr: Walter Raleigh knight, for the discovery of La Virginea. In the 27th. Yeare of the most happie reigne of our Soveraigne lady Queene Elizabeth. And in the yeare of or Lorde God. 1585.” John White, “Title page”, BM 1906,0509.1.1.51
Stephanie Pratt, “Truth and Artifice in the Visualisation of Native Peoples: From the Time of John White to the Beginnings of the Eighteenth Century”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices (London: British Museum, 2009), 38.52
Alexander Marr, “Knowing Images”, Renaissance Quarterly 16 (2016): 1000–1013 discusses the various definitions of epistemic images. For these two definitions, see, respectively, Christoph Lüthy and Alexis Smets, “Words, Lines, Diagrams, Images: Towards a History of Scientific Imagery”, Early Science and Medicine 14 (2009): 398–439; and Lorraine Daston, “Epistemic Images”, in Alina Payne (ed.), Vision and Its Instruments: Art, Science, and Technology in Early Modern Europe (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2015), 13–35.53
Peter Parshall, “Imago Contrafacta: Images and Facts in the Northern Renaissance”, Art History 16, no. 4 (1993), 564.54
Parshall, “Imago Contrafacta”, 564.55
Richard W. Serjeantson, “Testimony: The Artless Proof”, in Sylvia Adamson, Gavin Alexander, and Katrin Ettenhuber (eds), Renaissance Figures of Speech (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 182–183.56
Serjeantson, “Testimony”, 190; a similar distinction is found in Wes Williams’ analysis of testatio in French travel accounts, see Wes Williams, Pilgrimage and Narrative in the French Renaissance: “The Undiscovered Country” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), esp. 142–146.57
Joyce E. Chaplain, “Roanoke ‘Counterfeited According to the Truth’”, in Kim Sloan (ed.), A New World: England’s First View of America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 50–63.58
John White, “Title page”, BM 1906,0509.1.1.59
For example, John de Critz, Woman in Masque Costume as a Power of Juno, 1606, Private Collection, reproduced in Aileen Ribeiro, Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005); Unknown Artist, Portrait of a Lady of the Hampden Family, circa 1610, Rhode Island School of Design Museum 42.283; Attrib. Robert Peake, Lady Elizabeth Pope, circa 1615, Tate Britain T00067; and Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, Portrait of an Unknown Woman with Stag, circa 1590–1600, Royal Collection 406024.60
Sir William Foster (ed.), The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to India 1615–1619. As Narrated in his Journal and Correspondence, Vol. 1 (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1899), 146–147, cited in Anne-Valérie Dulac, “Miniatures between East and West: The Art(s) of Diplomacy in Thomas Roe’s Embassy:, Études Épistémè 26 (2014), 10, online at: doi:10.4000/episteme.343, accessed 10 March 2020.61
Foster, The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to India 1615–1619, 213, cited in Dulac, “Miniatures between East and West”, 12.62
Edward Terry, A Voyage to East-India (London: J. Wilkie, 1777 ), 129, cited in Dulac, “Miniatures between East and West”, 14.63
Dulac, “Miniatures between East and West”, 9 and 15; see also Alexander J. Marr and Robert J.W. Evans (eds), Curiosity and Wonder from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).64
Egmond, “Nature and Natural History”, 43.65
Gaudio, “The Truth in Clothing”, 24–32.66
Sloan, “Knowing John White”, 31.67
Lauren Working, “Locating Colonization at the Jacobean Inns of Court”, The Historical Journal 61, no. 1 (2018), 45–48.68
George Chapman, The Memorable Maske (London: G. Eld for George Norton, 1613), A1v–A2r.69
Working, “Locating Colonization”, 45–46; see also Gavin Hollis, “Introduction: ‘Where America, the Indies?’ London Theater and the New World”, in The Absence of America: The London Stage, 1576–1642 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 14–15.70
Ambers, Janet, Hook, Duncan, and Simpson, Antony (2009) “John White’s Watercolours: Analysis of the Pigments”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices. London: British Museum, 67–71.
Anderson, Christy (2003) “The Secrets of Vision in Renaissance England”. Studies in the History of Art, 59, Symposium Papers XXXVI: The Treatise on Perspective: Published and Unpublished, edited by Lyle Massey, 322–347.
Anon (1979) “Instructions for a Voyage of Reconnaissance to North America in 1582 or 1583”. British Library BL Add. MS 38823, ff.1–8, transcribed. In David Beers Quinn (ed.), A New American World: A Documentary History of North America to 1612, Vol. 3. New York: Arno Press, 239–245.
Binski, Paul (2019) Gothic Sculpture. New Haven, CT: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press.
Birch, Sally (2009) “Through an Artist’s Eyes: Observations on Aspects of Copying in Two Groups of Work by John White, c.1585–90”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices. London: British Museum, 85–96.
Button, Victoria, Coombs, Katherine, and Derbyshire, Alan (2019) “Limning, the Perfection of Painting: The Art of Painting Miniatures”. In Catharine MacLeod (ed.), Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver, exhibition catalogue. London, National Portrait Gallery, 20–29.
Chaplain, Joyce E. (2007) “Roanoke ‘Counterfeited According to the Truth’”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), A New World: England’s First View of America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 50-63.
Chapman, George (1613) The Memorable Maske of the two honorable houses or Innes of Court; the Middle Temple, and Lyncolns Inne As it was performd before the King. London: G. Eld for George Norton.
Coombs, Katherine (2009) “‘A Kind of Gentle Painting’: Limning in 16th-Century England”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices. London: British Museum, 77–84
Coombs, Katherine and Derbyshire, Alan (2015) “Nicholas Hilliard’s Workshop Practice Reconsidered”. In Tarnya Cooper, Aviva Burnstock, Maurice Howard, and Edward Town (eds), Painting in Britain 1500–1630. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 245–248.
Daston, Lorraine (2015) “Epistemic Images” In Alina Payne (ed.), Vision and Its Instruments: Art, Science, and Technology in Early Modern Europe. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 13–35.
Dulac, Anne-Valérie (2014) “Miniatures between East and West: The Art(s) of Diplomacy in Thomas Roe’s Embassy”. Études Épistémè 26, online at: https://doi.org/10.4000/episteme.343. Accessed 10 March 2020.
Edmond, Mary (1983) Hilliard and Oliver: The Lives and Works of Two Great Miniaturists. London: Robert Hale.
Egmond, Florike (2009) “Nature and Natural History: Introduction and Summary”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices. London: British Museum, 42–43
Elyot, Thomas (1531) The Boke Named the Governour. London.
Faraday, Christina J. (2019) “The Concept of ‘Liveliness’ in English Visual Culture, c.1560–c.1630”. PhD diss., University of Cambridge.
Faraday, Christina J. (2019) “‘It Seemeth to be the Thing Itsefe’: Directness and Intimacy in Nicholas Hilliard’s Portrait Miniatures”. Études Épistémè 36, online at: https://journals.openedition.org/episteme/. Accessed 10 March 2020.
Feuillerat, Albert (ed.) (1908) Documents Relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth. Louvain: A. Uystpruyst.
Foster, Sir William (ed.) (1899) The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to India 1615–1619. As Narrated in his Journal and Correspondence, Vol. 1. London: The Hakluyt Society.
R.G. (1600) The Famous Historie of Albions Queene. London: W. White for T. Pauier.
Gaudio, Michael (2009) “The Truth in Clothing: The Costume Studies of John White and Lucas de Heere”. In Kim Sloan (ed.), European Visions: American Voices. London: British Museum, 24–32.
Grundy, Joan (ed.) (1960) The Poems of Henry Constable. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Hakluyt the Elder, Richard (1979) “Inducements to the Liking of the Voyage Intended towards Virginia in 40. and 42. Degrees” (ca. 1584–1585) in John Brereton, A Briefe and True Relation of the Discoverie of the North Part of Virginia (1602), transcribed. In David Beers Quinn (ed.), A New American World: A Documentary History of North America to 1612, Vol. 3. New York: Arno Press, Document 360, 64–69.
Harriot, Thomas (1590) A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. Frankfurt am Main: Johann Wechel, Theodore de Bry, and Sigmund Fierabend.
Herbert of Cherbury, Edward (1764) The Life of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, edited by Horace Walpole. London: Strawberry Hill.
Hilliard, Nicholas (1981) A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, edited by R.K.R. Thornton and T.G.S. Cain. Manchester: Carcanet.
Hollis, Gavin (2015) “Introduction: ‘Where America, the Indies?’ London Theater and the New World”. In The Absence of America: The London Stage, 1576–1642. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1–13.
Huloet, Richard (1572) Huloets dictionarie newelye corrected. London: Thomas Marsh.
Lüthy, Christoph and Smets, Alexis (2009) “Words, Lines, Diagrams, Images: Towards a History of Scientific Imagery”. Early Science and Medicine 14: 398–439.
Mack, Peter (1995) “Renaissance Habits of Reading”. In Sukanta Chaudhuri (ed.), Renaissance Essays for Kitty Scoular Datta. Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1–25.
Mack, Peter (2002) Elizabethan Rhetoric: Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Marr, Alexander (2016) “Knowing Images”. Renaissance Quarterly 16: 1000–1013.
Marr, Alexander J. and Evans, Robert J.W. (eds) (2006) Curiosity and Wonder from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Aldershot: Ashgate.
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- Christina Faraday
- 30 September 2020
- Review status
- Peer Reviewed (Double Blind)
- CC BY-NC International 4.0
- PDF format
- Cite as
- Christina Faraday, "Lively Limning: Presence in Portrait Miniatures and John White’s Images of the New World", British Art Studies, Issue 17, https://doi.org/10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-17/cfaraday