(c. 1565-1617)
Isaac Oliver, French by birth, became well known as a "limner," a painter of miniature portraits, receiving his training from the greatest of the Tudor min­iaturists, Nicholas Hilliard.* He took the art of the miniature beyond its Eliza­bethan models, making use of such Italian Renaissance techniques as chiaroscuro, but also in the process losing some of the poetry of the miniatures of Hilliard.
Born in Rouen, Isaac Oliver was a member of a French Huguenot family that had fled France for Geneva in 1557 while he was still a child, arriving in that city at the same time as the young Nicholas Hilliard, who was to become his teacher. In 1568 his father, Pierre Olivier, transferred his family to England, anglicized their name to Oliver, and settled in London, joining the large expa­triate group of European artists there.
Oliver joined the workshop of Nicholas Hilliard at the age of fourteen on an informal basis to learn the art of "limning," but unlike Hilliard, he did not receive a goldsmith's training. His apprenticeship lasted some seven years, his first signed miniatures appearing in 1587-88. His style proved to be radically different from that of his teacher, sturdy and realistic, showing some European influence, and without the stylization and symbolism so loved by the Elizabethan courtiers.
Ushering in the new Stuart era, Oliver's first court appointment in 1605 was not to King James I,* but to his consort, Queen Anne of Denmark, a connoisseur of art, and to her son, Henry, Prince of Wales, then heir to the throne (Henry would die in 1612 before succeeding his father). This gave Oliver the sole right to paint their portraits, among them the well-known miniature of the queen dressed for a masque. Her son, Prince Henry, was also shown in a new rectan­gular form of the miniature, like a full-sized portrait but much reduced in scale. Nicholas Hilliard meanwhile continued as painter to the king until his own death in 1619; Oliver was never to succeed him in this coveted position, for he died before Hilliard in 1617.
Oliver never forgot his French Huguenot roots, living among and marrying into the French and Flemish expatriate communities in London. His second wife connected him with the prominent Flemish Gheeraerts and de Critz families, portraitists and serjeant-painters to both the Tudor and Stuart courts. Perhaps because of his closeness to the European community in London, Oliver's style showed a new realism, a European influence not present in the work of Hilliard. Together, Oliver and Hilliard brought the era of the great miniature painters of the Tudor and Stuart periods to its highest point and culmination.
M. Edmond, Hilliard and Oliver, 1983.
Rosemary Poole

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oliver, Isaac — ▪ French painter Oliver also spelled  Olivier   born 1556?, Rouen, Fr. died Oct. 2, 1617, London, Eng.       miniature painter.       Oliver s French Huguenot parents took him to England about 1568, where he studied painting and married the… …   Universalium

  • OLIVER (I.) — OLIVER ISAAC (1556 env. 1617) Probablement d’origine française, ayant quitté Rouen en 1568 pour l’Angleterre, Isaac Oliver se forme auprès de Nicholas Hilliard, qui lui apprend l’art de la miniature. Il voyage sans doute dans les Pays Bas en 1588 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Oliver Foot — Oliver Isaac Foot The Hon. Oliver Isaac Foot (19 September 1946 – 6 February 2008) was a British actor, philanthropist, charity worker and Christian. Contents 1 Early life …   Wikipedia

  • Isaac Oliver — Naissance vers 1565 Rouen, France Décès 1617 Londres, Angleterre Nationalité naturalisé Anglais Activité(s) Portraitiste …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Oliver O. Howard — Oliver Otis Howard Portrait of Oliver O. Howard by Mathew Brady, during the Civil War Born November 8, 1830 …   Wikipedia

  • Isaac Franklin — was an american slave trader and planter. He was born on May 26 1789 at Pilot Knob Plantation on Station Camp Creek in Sumner County, Tennessee. Father was Capt. James Franklin of Baltimore, Maryland and mother was Mary Lauderdale, the daughter… …   Wikipedia

  • Isaac Oliver — (c. 1565 ndash; bur. October 2, 1617) was a French born English portrait miniature painter.Born in Rouen, he moved to London in 1568 with his Huguenot parents Peter and Epiphany Oliver to escape the Wars of Religion in France. He then studied… …   Wikipedia

  • Isaac Reed — (* 22. August 1809 in Waldoboro, Lincoln County, Massachusetts; † 19. September 1887 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1852 und 1853 vertrat er den Bundesstaat Maine im US Repräsentantenhaus. Werdegang Isaac Reed wurde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oliver Morton — Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton (* 4. August 1823 in Salisbury, Indiana; † 1. November 1877 in Indianapolis, Indiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker, Kongressabgeordneter und zwischen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oliver P. Morton — Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton (* 4. August 1823 in Salisbury, Indiana; † 1. November 1877 in Indianapolis, Indiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker, Kongressabgeordneter und zwischen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.