★★★★★ The Times
‘Breathtakingly gorgeous’

★★★★★ The Telegraph
‘Small wonders from Elizabethan giants’

★★★★★ The Observer
‘Among the greatest works in European art’

★★★★★ The Times
★★★★★ The Telegraph
★★★★★ The Observer

Described as ‘a thing apart from all other painting or drawing’, the portrait miniatures of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods are some of the greatest works of art to be produced in the British Isles. Hilliard and Oliver were compared by their contemporaries to Michelangelo and Raphael, and gained international fame and admiration.  

This will be the first major UK exhibition of these miniatures for a generation. It will explore what these intimate images reveal about identity, society and visual culture in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

#ElizabethanTreasures

Spring Season 2019 sponsored by

Supported by the Elizabethan Treasures Exhibition Circle

Download the Large-Print Guide featuring all the wall captions across the exhibition

21 February - 19 May 2019

Open daily 10.00 – 18.00/ Friday until 21.00

Porter Gallery

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Tickets

£10/ £8.50 (concessions)

BOOK NOW
(Transaction fee applies)
Exhibitions are free for Members and Patrons

 

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Alternatively please book your tickets using the authorised methods below or become a Member to enjoy free and unlimited entry to all exhibitions. You will not need to pay more than the price of Gallery Membership to see the exhibition.

By phone 020 7321 6600
Daily 10.00 – 17.30 (transaction fee applies)

In person at the Gallery
Daily 10.00 – 17.00, Fridays until 20.00

Tickets without donation £10/ £8.50 (concessions)
Tickets with donation £12/ £10.50 (concessions)

Concessions include: senior citizens (aged 60 and over), students, children 12–18 years, registered unemployed, disabled people (with free entry for one carer). Proof of age or status required.

Free admission
Gallery Members, Supporters and children under 12 years in family groups.
National Art Pass holders 50% discount

Family Tickets
Book an Adult or Senior ticket and receive 50% off tickets for up to four children (12 – 18).

Schools
Tickets are £3 per student/pupil for groups 10+ visiting from 10.00-14.00, booking and paying at least a month in advance. Find out more. Find out more.

Groups
Special tours are available for groups, including a lecture and opportunity to explore the exhibition. For more information visit group tours.

Elizabethan Treasures is the first major exhibition of Elizabethan and Jacobean portrait miniatures in the UK for over thirty-five years and includes portraits which are rarely on public display. Dating from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries these precious and vulnerable objects need to be shown in special conditions. These conditions include specific light levels, lender stipulations about how the miniatures are held and supported and a high level of security and conservation protection. As the works are by their nature very small this also has an impact on the viewing experience.

The Gallery is committed to providing for our visitors’ needs and we have made the exhibition as accessible as possible within these restrictions. These guidelines explain how the conditions mentioned above may affect your visit.

Lighting
Please note that due to the nature of the portraits in the exhibition, which are over 400 years old, the lighting in the exhibition is set at a low level to protect the works.

Magnifiers
As the portraits are small, magnifiers are permitted to view some of the works. However, there are restrictions on usage, as light (lux) levels can increase significantly when using a magnifier under overhead lighting and this would have an adverse effect on the condition of the portraits. The miniatures which cannot be viewed with a magnifier have a sign next to them with a crossed out magnifying glass symbol. For the same reason, magnifiers with a light are not permitted.

We have a limited number of magnifiers available on request on a first come, first served basis, should you need to borrow one for your visit please ask a member of staff.

Case height
Due to the delicate and small nature of the works they are displayed in cases which have been set at a variety of levels taking into consideration conservation issues and the average viewing height. We have made the exhibition as accessible as possible within these restrictions but in some areas this may cause viewing issues for children or visitors in a wheelchair. Exhibition catalogues and large print guides are available. Please contact [email protected] or speak to a member of staff if you have any concerns or need assistance.

Large print guides
Large print guides are available at the entrance of the exhibition or by speaking to a member of staff. The large print guide is also available to download as a pdf here

Bags
To protect the artworks large bags need to be left in the cloakroom, however, smaller rucksacks and handbags may be taken into the exhibition provided they are not worn on the back.

Photography
To protect the works photography is not permitted in the exhibition and as such visitors using magnifying apps on their phones will be asked not to do so and can be provided with a magnifier instead.

Seating
There are a number of benches for visitors inside the exhibition.


Are you Under 25?

Sir Walter Ralegh (detail) by Nicholas Hilliard © National Portrait Gallery, London

Then every Friday enjoy £5 entry to Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver. Why not make an evening of it and head to our after-hours Friday Lates on until 9pm.

 


Events

A range of free and ticketed events including talks, workshops, family activities and live music complements the exhibition

Events (10)

10 events matching the search term Elizabethan Treasures

Screening: Hakob Hovnatanyan

Screening: Hakob Hovnatanyan

A part of Friday Lates
22 March 2019, 18:00-18:30
Ondaatje Wing Theatre, Floor -2
Tickets: £4 (£3 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian’s film critic, introduces this special screening of Sergei Parajanov’s newly restored short documentary film Hakob Hovnatanyan.


Find out more
Lecture: The Worlde is Run Quite Out of Square: Some Melancholy Elizabethans

Lecture: The Worlde is Run Quite Out of Square: Some Melancholy Elizabethans

A part of Friday Lates
22 March 2019, 19:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre, Floor -2
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

As the reign of the Virgin Queen drew to its close a group of young men called ‘malcontents’ formed. Sir Roy Strong explores some of the most extraordinary and complex of all Elizabethan portraits.


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International Conference: Hilliard, Oliver and the Miniature in Context

International Conference: Hilliard, Oliver and the Miniature in Context

28 March - 29 March 2019, 00:00
Thursday 28 March 2019
10.30 - 19.30


Friday 29 March 2019
10.30 - 17.15


Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £40, £30, £20 for students Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

This conference accompanies Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver.


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Lunchtime Lecture: Exquisite Objects: Dressed to Impress in the age of Hilliard and Shakespeare

Lunchtime Lecture: Exquisite Objects: Dressed to Impress in the age of Hilliard and Shakespeare

4 April 2019, 13:15
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Tickets: £4 (£3 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Portrait miniatures not only depict dress in exquisite detail but were part of the courtier’s armoury as he or she dressed to impress.


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Family workshop: Mini Me

Family workshop: Mini Me

  • Family||Workshop

10 April - 11 April 2019, 11:00-16:00
Please check signage on the day for details
Free, drop in

Paint your own tiny portrait inspired by the miniature portraits on display in Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver and learn about the surprising materials used in Tudor times.


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Family workshop: Jazzy Jewels

Family workshop: Jazzy Jewels

  • Family||Workshop

12 April 2019, 11:00-16:00
Please check signage on the day for details
Free, drop in

Make your own necklace or bracelet using beads, ribbon and glitter. Inspired by jewellery shown in Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver create your own dazzling charm to wear home.


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Performance: Elizabeth I: Construction of an Icon

Performance: Elizabeth I: Construction of an Icon

  • Performance

A part of Friday Lates
12 April 2019, 15:30-17:30
Please check signage on the day for details
Free drop-in

The Armada portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign.


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In Conversation: Elizabeth I: Construction of an Icon

In Conversation: Elizabeth I: Construction of an Icon

A part of Friday Lates
12 April 2019, 19:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Three contemporary artists – Mat Collishaw, Christopher Green and Bettina von Zwehl – talk to Charlotte Bolland, Senior Curator, Research and 16th Century Collections


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Members’ Evening Private View: Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver and Only Human: Martin Parr

Members’ Evening Private View: Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver and Only Human: Martin Parr

29 April 2019, 18:30-20:30
Main Hall, Porter, Lerner and Wolfson Galleries

Our Members’ Evening Private Views give you the chance to visit the Gallery after-hours and are a great way to see our exhibitions away from the crowds.

Please RSVP to this event from 27 February


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In Conversation: London Craft Week: Close-up and Self-Portrait

In Conversation: London Craft Week: Close-up and Self-Portrait

A part of Friday Lates
10 May 2019, 19:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Senior Curator Charlotte Bolland is joined by artist-jeweller Silvia Weidenbach and jewellery historian Beatriz Chadour-Sampson to discuss Elizabetha Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver and the enduring appeal of portrait miniatures.


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Members

Enjoy free and unlimited entry to all ticketed exhibitions with no need to book, along with other benefits. Membership starts from just £55. Find out more and join online today here.

Patrons enjoy all of the benefits of Membership plus more. Find out more and join online today here.

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Portrait Restaurant

Breath-taking by day and dramatic by night, enjoy the Portrait Restaurant's celebrated views across London with one of our exclusive ticket and dining packages, including our celebrated afternoon tea and a pre-theatre supper menu with seasonal local produce.

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Group Tours

Discover more about the exhibition with a private lecture by an expert art historian or artist in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre, followed by a visit to the exhibition. Prices include exhibition entry.

£25 Person

Book Now


Catalogue

This fascinating book explores the genre with special reference to two of its most accomplished practitioners, Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver. Regular price £35.00


Visit

National Portrait Gallery


St Martin's Place
London
WC2H 0HE
020 7306 0055
Contact us

Opening hours


Daily 10.00 – 18.00
Fridays until 21.00
Last admission to the exhibition is one hour before the Gallery closes.
Exiting commences ten minutes before the closing time.

Friday Lates


Enjoy a drink at the bar and music inspired by our exhibitions, join our hugely popular mass art occupation of the Gallery and explore ideas about art, culture and society with our talks programme every Friday until 21.00.

 

Getting to the Gallery


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Leicester Square / Charing Cross

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Charing Cross

 

For directions to the Gallery please click here

Orange Street Street ramp/shop entrance in St Martin's Place, please click here for more information on Access at the Gallery

Recorded information: 020 7312 2463
Text Direct: 18001

Recorded information: 020 7312 2463
Text Direct: 18001

Miniatures in the Gallery's Collection


Explore fascinating details online, featuring Image zoom and supplementary Images from our Collection of miniatures here.