(English, c. 1547–1619)
Watercolor on vellum, laid 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
A little dog gazes adoringly at Mildmay who was by all accounts a very arrogant man.
Framed by the folds of a circular tent, Sir Anthony Mildmay strikes a relaxed and confident pose, with his right hand resting on a cloth-covered table and his left grasping the hilt of his thin, double-edged sword called a rapier. Helmet, gauntlet, and leg coverings are scattered about, as if Mildmay has been interrupted in the act of putting on or taking off his armor. Despite its small scale, this portrait reveals Nicholas Hilliard’s emulation of (and rivalry with) life-size court portraiture, while his meticulous attention to detail and use of costly materials like shell gold reflect the refined world of courtly tournaments.
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