James VI & I
Nicholas Hilliard (1547–1619)
About 1609, watercolour on vellum
In this delicately painted miniature James is depicted wearing a white satin doublet and breeches, an intricate lace standing collar and the badge the Order of the Garter – the English chivalric order - on a blue ribbon around his neck.
The artist Nicholas Hilliard, who had also served as miniature painter to Elizabeth I, was commissioned to paint a series of portrait miniatures of the king. The miniatures were presented to family, loyal supporters, and sent abroad as diplomatic gifts. They served as an important tool for circulating the King’s image throughout the country and in Europe.