A melancholic portrait of young Gentleman, believed to be Sir James Balfour (1600-1657)
A melancholic portrait of young Gentleman, believed to be Sir James Balfour (1600-1657)
A melancholic portrait of young Gentleman, believed to be Sir James Balfour (1600-1657)
A melancholic portrait of young Gentleman, believed to be Sir James Balfour (1600-1657)

JOHN HOSKINS (c.1595-1665)

A melancholic portrait of young Gentleman, believed to be Sir James Balfour (1600-1657)

c. 1630 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

Sold
Request Information Call Dealer
Favourite Item
Wearing white voluminous shirt, with lace collar, his long brown hair flows over his left shoulder, small moustache, his right hand tucked into his chest.

set in a later turned pear wood frame

The miniature bears a strong resemblance to a portrait of Sir James Balfour, in the National Gallery, Scotland. He was a historian and herald whose writings included Annals of the History of Scotland. He was created Lyon King of Arms (a court office that regulated royal ceremony and heraldry) and was knighted in 1630. He played a key role in the arrangements for Charles I.'s Scottish coronation in 1633.

The portrait of Balfour in the National Gallery also depicts him, as in this miniature, in informal appearance. Contemporary audiences would have understood the pose in the National Gallery portrait, with Balfour resting his head on his hand, as a representation of melancholy, just as the position of the hand on the heart in the Hoskins portrait would have also evoked a sense of melancholy. The loosened informal attire signalled intellectual activity and creativity - very appropriate for a sitter who was a historian and herald.

By 1620 Hoskins was the most important miniaturist working in England . His earliest work, 1615 shows the influence of Hilliard. His miniatures produced between 1625 and 1644 were signed in monogram IH, as in this miniature, after that date he signed I.H. with separate initials. After Charles I.'s ascension to the throne, 1625, Hoskins style displays a marked leap forward to a contemporary style as evident here. Whilst this miniature predates 1632, when Hoskins was influenced by the arrival of Van Dyck in England, it . does shows a move away from the meticulous style of Elizabethan portraits it also hints at a more mature style which was to become freer and more vigorous as his career progressed. This miniature shows a very important bridge between the work of Nicholas Hilliard and Samuel Cooper, two of the greatest miniaturists. In 1640 Hoskins was granted an annuity of £200 for life, 'provided that he work not for any other without his Majesty's licence'.
Good
Sotheby's, London, 9 April, 1992, where it sold for £9500
Stock Code
4894
Medium
water-colour on vellum, back with playing card.
Signed/Inscribed
Signed with monogram in gold on the obverse
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
London
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 3845 2430
+44 (0)7720 317899
Favourite Dealer
Request Dealer Alerts
Opening Hours
Contacts
Member Since 2007
Members of
View Full Details