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Sir Edward Herbert, later 1st Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581/2-1648)

Isaac Oliver (Rouen c.1565 – London 1617)

Category

Art / Miniatures

Date

circa 1613 - 1614

Materials

Watercolour on vellum mounted on panel, in a tortoiseshell and ebony frame

Measurements

181 mm (H)229 mm (W)

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Collection

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales, National Trust

NT 1183954

Summary

Watercolour on vellum mounted on panel, Sir Edward Herbert, later 1st Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581/2-1648), by Isaac Oliver, (c. 1565-1617), c.1613-14. A miniature depicting Lord Herbert as a fashionable and melancholic young lover, with his head resting on his right hand as he lies stretched out on the banks of a stream in a shady forest, with a landscape visible beyond. A shield strapped to his left arm is decorated with a bleeding heart and the inscription 'MAGICA SYMPATHIAE'. Two grooms are seen tending to his horse and armour nearby. A kinsman of the Herberts of Powis Castle, Lord Herbert lived at nearby Montgomery Castle.

Provenance

Commissioned by the sitter and thence by descent; on loan to the National Trust from 1952; purchased by the National Trust by private treaty, with the help of grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, a fund set up by the late Hon. Simon Sainsbury and a bequest from Winifred Hooper, 2016.

Makers and roles

Isaac Oliver (Rouen c.1565 – London 1617)

Exhibition history

Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2019 Loan of Powis miniature to National Museum of Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 2017 - 2018 Shakespeare: Staging the World, British Museum, London, 2012

References

The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting (exh cat) (ed. Gervase Jackson-Stops) National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2 November 1985 - 16 March 1986, p. 118 Elizabeth Green and Siobhan Watts, '"Sure Adam sinn'd not in that spotless face": The Isaac Oliver miniature of Lord Herbert of Cherbury', Arts, Building, Collections Bulletin, National Trust, Autumn 2016., pp. 14-15 Chu 2018 John Chu, House of Portraits: Powis Castle, Swindon, 2018, pp.39-45

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