Jacobean migrant artists 1603-1625

Karen Hearn, Curator of Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century British Art, Tate

Making Art in Tudor Britain
Abstract of a paper presented at Tudor and Jacobean Painting: Production, Influences and Patronage
Funded by the British Academy and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

This paper centres on the reign of James VI of Scotland as James I of England. It considers the producers of paintings on canvas and panel, and is largely confined to those who worked for the elite end of the market. The field of migration studies has greatly expanded and advanced in recent years, and can hugely inform our understanding of artistic exchange. Tate is currently working on a number of projects that link art history with migration studies. One of them particularly focuses on the movements of artists between the Northern and Southern Netherlands and Britain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The present paper addresses the following questions: Where did the incomer artists come from? How, if at all, were they connected? What was happening in the Netherlands that might have influenced their decision to travel?  What were the mechanisms by which they came? If they did not remain in Britain, what happened to them afterwards? How significant were the locations in London that they colonized, with particular reference to the new development of St Martin’s Lane?

Finally, I shall consider those British-born artists who travelled in the other direction, going overseas to the Netherlands for their training.