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Peter Oliver

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Peter Oliver

by Peter Oliver
graphite and watercolour on card, circa 1625-1630
3 3/8 in. x 2 5/8 in. (86 mm x 67 mm)
Given by the Art Fund, 1971
Primary Collection
NPG 4853

Sitterback to top

  • Peter Oliver (circa 1589-1647), Miniature painter; eldest son of Isaac Oliver. Sitter in 4 portraits, Artist associated with 17 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Peter Oliver (circa 1589-1647), Miniature painter; eldest son of Isaac Oliver. Artist associated with 17 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This self-portrait is much more informal than Oliver's other finished miniatures. A drawing of his wife, Anne Harding, can be found on the reverse.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cooper, Tarnya; Bolland, Charlotte, The encounter : drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt, 2017 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from Catalogue of an exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, 13 July-22 Oct. 2017.), p. 89
  • Hamilton, Peter; Hargreaves, Roger, The Beautiful and the Damned: The Creation of Identity in Nineteenth Century Portrait Photography, 2001 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 6 June to 7 October 2001), p. 4853
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 25
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 467
  • Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 27 Read entry

    Peter Oliver assisted his father in the enormous production of royal and official portraits, but he is better known for faithful copies in miniature of Old Master pictures then in the Royal Collection, for instance Correggio's School of Love (National Gallery, London). Peter's early work is almost indistinguishable from his father's. Later he liked to experiment with a varity of styles, favouring a relaxed form of sfumato. 'Noe oyle painting could appear more warme and fleshy than those of his hand' (Sir Nathaniel Bacon, cited in Edward Norgate, Miniatura, or the Art of Limning, ed. Jim Murrell, New Haven, 1997, p 64). Another self-portrait is in the Royal Collection.

Events of 1625back to top

Current affairs

James I dies at Theobalds Palace, Hertfordshire and the Prince of Wales becomes Charles I. Charles's queen, Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France, arrives in Dover escorted by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
The court moves to Oxford temporarily due to an outbreak of the bubonic plague.

Art and science

Under the patronage of the queen, a new theatre company is formed, the Queen Henrietta's Men. Richard Perkins is a founding member.


Edward Cecil, Viscount Wimbledon, is recommended by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham to command a naval expedition to Spain. Though some Spanish ships were captured, Wimbledon failed to destroy Cadiz where most of the Spanish fleet was moored.
Treaty of The Hague is signed between England and the Dutch Empire.

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