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The Tudor Society

Expert Talk: Melanie V. Taylor on Nicholas Hilliard

Here's this month's expert talk with our resident art historian Melanie V. Taylor, author of "The Truth of the Line". It's a fascinating delve into the life and artwork of Nicholas Hilliard, and it's really interesting!

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. D /

    Thanks, Mel for a detailed and informative dissertation. I was particularly fascinated to see how Levina Teerlinc fits into the list of royal portrait painters. I’ve always understood that she succeeded Holbein – and was actually paid more than him! Has any study been written of her, her artist family and their various court connections?

  2. M /

    Derek, I have lived with Levina for the past ten years and she was the subject of my Master’s dissertation. When the plague took both Horenbout and Holbein it took a further couple of years to find artists to fill their shoes. William Scrots was lured from his position as court painter to The Regent of the Netherlands, and I’m pretty sure that it was Simon Bening (Levina’s father) who was invited to come to England to replace Lucas Horenbout. However, he was aging and he had this very talented daughter – hence Levina being at the Tudor Court.

    I’m in the process of blocking out a novel about Teerlinc as she is one of those characters who has disappeared into mists of time. I will be stopping teaching in June so will be able to devote more time to my researches and into the non-fiction book about my research behind my novel, The Truth of the Line.

    £40 per annum was way beyond what either Horenbout or Holbein earned at Court and we have very little knowledge of any work by her. Emma Butterworth of Philip Mould Gallery curated an exhibition which included several miniatures which are probably by her, but there is nothing concrete. Emma thinks The Master of the Countess of Warwick may be her and Susan E James has suggested that she painted The Phoenix & Pelican portraits of Elizabeth (currently attributed to Hilliard).

    There’s quite a bit about Simon Bening & his father Alexander (possibly The Master of James IV of Scotland) & they are thought to be part of the group that is collectively known as The Master of the Mary of Burgundy Hours.

    Hope this helps and thank you for your comment

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Expert Talk: Melanie V. Taylor on Nicholas Hilliard