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Room 5

Making Portrait Miniatures

Miniature painting was an important art form in Britain for nearly 400 years. Miniaturists gained international reputations and it was seen as a particularly British type of art. Portrait miniatures were first developed at the court of Henry VIII in the 1520s. They were small-scale images painted in watercolour on calfskin (vellum) and later on ivory. Originally associated just with royalty and small circles of courtiers, their popularity grew over time. By the 18th century, they were widespread and there were many amateur miniaturists. Tokens of love and loyalty, miniatures were given or exchanged, worn, displayed or concealed in ways that reflect the societies in which they were made.

20 portraits on display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

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Ludovick Stuart, 2nd Duke of Lennox and Duke of Richmond, by Isaac Oliver - NPG 3063

Ludovick Stuart, 2nd Duke of Lennox and Duke of Richmond

by Isaac Oliver
watercolour and bodycolour on vellum, heart-shaped, circa 1605
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3063

Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, by Isaac Oliver - NPG 2494

Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork

by Isaac Oliver
watercolour on vellum, circa 1610-1615
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2494

Henry, Prince of Wales, by Isaac Oliver - NPG 1572

Henry, Prince of Wales

by Isaac Oliver
watercolour on vellum, circa 1610
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1572

Lucy Russell (née Harington), Countess of Bedford, by Isaac Oliver - NPG 7125

Lucy Russell (née Harington), Countess of Bedford

by Isaac Oliver
watercolour and bodycolour with gold on vellum, turned wood frame, circa 1610-1615
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 7125

Anne of Denmark, by Isaac Oliver - NPG 4010

Anne of Denmark

by Isaac Oliver
watercolour on vellum, circa 1612
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4010

George Fleetwood, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 1925

George Fleetwood

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1647
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1925

Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 5589

Oliver Cromwell

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1649
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5589

William Lenthall, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 2766

William Lenthall

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1652
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2766

Oliver Cromwell, attributed to Samuel Cooper - NPG 5274

Oliver Cromwell

attributed to Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, circa 1655
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5274

Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper - NPG 3065

Oliver Cromwell

by Samuel Cooper
watercolour on vellum, 1656
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3065

John Carnac, by Ozias Humphry - NPG 6284

John Carnac

by Ozias Humphry
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1786
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6284

Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab Wazir of Oudh, by Ozias Humphry - NPG 7126

Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab Wazir of Oudh

by Ozias Humphry
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1786
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 7126

Warren Hastings, by Richard Cosway - NPG 6286

Warren Hastings

by Richard Cosway
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1787
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6286

Ignatius Sancho, by Unknown artist, after  Thomas Gainsborough - NPG 7063

Ignatius Sancho

by Unknown artist, after Thomas Gainsborough
gouache (body colour) or watercolour on ivory, circa 1802-1820
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 7063

George Perfect Harding, by George Perfect Harding - NPG 4615

George Perfect Harding

by George Perfect Harding
watercolour and bodycolour on card, 1804
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4615

John Cox Dillman Engleheart, by John Cox Dillman Engleheart - NPG 2754

John Cox Dillman Engleheart

by John Cox Dillman Engleheart
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1810
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2754

Mary Ann Flaxman, attributed to Mary Ann Flaxman - NPG 1715

Mary Ann Flaxman

attributed to Mary Ann Flaxman
watercolour on ivory, circa 1820
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1715

Sir David Ochterlony, 1st Bt, attributed to Unknown Delhi artist - NPG 1266

Sir David Ochterlony, 1st Bt

attributed to Unknown Delhi artist
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1820
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1266

Sir Edward Paget, by Robert Home - NPG 3247

Sir Edward Paget

by Robert Home
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1823
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3247

Sarah Biffin (Beffin), attributed to Sarah Biffin (Beffin) - NPG 7110

Sarah Biffin (Beffin)

attributed to Sarah Biffin (Beffin)
watercolour and graphite, circa 1825
On display in Room 5 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 7110