Looking at this miniature of Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford, you perhaps realise why I had not connected the handwriting on the earlier miniatures to Levina Teerlink specifically. None of her later miniatures seem to display it.
Upon realising that the inscriptions may have been originally hers, I have been wracking my brain for a possible explanation for why she might have ceased adding them to her work.
The only thing that occurred to me was the rising prominence of François Clouet. He was born as early as 1510, but to the best of my abilities, I cannot find that any of his more prominent work was painted any earlier than the late 1550's. He then remained very active until his death in 1572.
Catherine de' Medici by François Clouet, before she was widowed in 1559
Mary, Queen of Scots by François Clouet, c.1558
Both of these two were painted on the a backround of royal blue, as had been the tradition in England from Horenbout to Holbein and Levina Teerlinc herself. Clouet's miniatures, however, do not bear inscriptions of any kind. It is possible that the art of miniature painting was as susceptible to what was fashionable as is everything else.
The presence of a miniature of Mary, Queen of Scots in the personal collection of Queen Elizabeth I in 1564 as noted by the Royal Collection shows that the English court was familiar with his work.
The miniature of Catherine de' Medici was painted «before she was widowed in 1559, when she adopted the veil and severely plain dress of a widow.» The miniature of Mary, Queen of Scots, was painted by 1564, and the sketch on which it is based or at least bears a great resemblance to it dates from around 1555. If we are right, that does seem to fit with when Levina Teerlinc abandoned her inscriptions.
In the reign of Mary, culture had very much been oriented towards Spain, naturally enough, as Mary's mother had been from there, and it was a connection she treasured, so much that she chose her husband from there. But Elizabeth's reign, especially as the 1550's turned into the 1560's, became more oriented towards France again, culturally and fashionably.
Of course, everybody must decide for themselves if they find this plausible. All I have done is try to reconcile two facts that are indubitably true, yet it is seemingly impossible that they are so at the same time.
Once I relegated the ones who have other known versions of them and have the tell-tale signs of this other artist to copies it all fell into place.
The second was how much more incredibly detailed the copies were from the originals.
It is my belief that the originals are the ones to the left, and the copies are the ones to the right. We have already gone over the lady's jewellery and the addition of it.
But what first struck me was the pattern of the clothing.
It belatedly occurrs to me that this must be what Roland Hui meant when he termed the lady with the inscription the finer miniature of the two. At the time I was so preoccupied with her features and general expression.
And he is quite right in that one can often see a degeneration with each subsequent copy of an artwork.
However, there are examples of copyists embellishing upon the original work of art as well. This can often be seen on engravings, where jewellery and the like is added, undoubtedly to create a more striking image.
Henry VIII - Miniature in the Louvre
'Portrait miniatures first appeared in the 1520s, at the French and English courts. Like medals, they were portable, but they also had realistic colour. The earliest examples were painted by two Netherlandish miniaturists, Jean Clouet working in France and Lucas Horenbout in England.
Miniatures were particularly useful to the monarchy. They were small enough to be given personally, sometimes in a public ceremony, as a sign of the monarch's favour. But since a miniature could be presented unframed, the person receiving it often had the expense of providing a suitable locket.'
However, were all of these drawn by the same hand?
It from the first occurred to me that it was peculiar that so many of the miniatures were to be found in England. The earliest miniatures were supposedly gifts for other monarchs, and yet so many can be found on the homely soil.
And why is every single one of the miniatures (all the ones where age is indicated, anyway) painted in the King's 35th year or when he had turned 35?
The beautiful drawn detailed pattern on Henry VIII's shirt.
Levina Teerlinc – The Great Pretender.
King Henry VIII - The Buccleuch Miniature
Henry VIII - The Royal Collection RCIN 420640
Henry VIII - The Royal Collection RCIN 420010
The de Wet Miniature
The Sudeley Miniature
The Yale Miniature
The Royal Ontario Miniature
Henry VIII – Three versions of the same miniature – Miniature of Henry VIII from Letters Patent for Thomas Foster – Louvre Miniature of Henry VIII – One of the Royal Collection's Miniature of Henry VIII (RCIN 420640)
Henry VIII - Two versions of the same miniature
Henry VIII - Three versions of the same miniature
Three miniatures of Henry VIII with an inverted N - A miniature of Henry c.1526, painted by Lucas Horenbout. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (http://tudorhistory.org/henry8/gallery.html)
Of course, of these four monarchs, Henry VIII's children were not the only ones who had been orphaned early.
Henry VIII himself had lost both his parents early, his mother as a young boy, his father as a young man.
His early education was supervised by his paternal grandmother, Margaret Beaufort.
In an effort to test my theory, I immediately set out to see if I could find posthumous miniatures of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII's parents. However, I was out of luck.
There does exist a posthumous miniature of Henry VII, but this miniature, and three others, are by Nicholas 'Hilliard, date from around 1600 and were part of the 'Bosworth Jewel', which commemorated the start of Tudor rule after Henry VII's victory over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The four portraits show Henry VIII's father, Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty; Henry VIII himself; Queen Jane Seymour; and their son Edward, later Edward VI. The Jewel was intended to show the continuation of the dynasty through Henry VIII to Prince Edward. It was presented to Charles I by Nicholas Hilliard's son.'
Posthumous miniature of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, Henry VIII's grandmother
There does however exist a posthumous miniature of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, Henry VIII's grandmother.
Miniatures were not introduced into England until 1520's and Margaret Beaufort died in 1509, making the miniature posthumous by necessity.
Also, the miniature is inscribed with the identity of the wearer, which was usually only done with posthumous paintings.
Margaret Beaufort was the only one of Henry VIII's grandparents to play an active part in his upbringing. Both of his grandfathers had long passed away by the time of his birth. And his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Dowager, died shortly before his first birthday.
Margaret Beaufort, however, was at court, and very involved in the life and family of her son.
Henry VII, Henry VIII's father, died on the 21st of April 1509, having designated his mother chief executor of his will. She arranged her son's funeral and her grandson's coronation. At her son's funeral she was given precedence over all the other women of the royal family.
The Countess died in the Deanery of Westminster Abbey on 29th of June 1509. This was the day after her grandson's 18th birthday, and just over two months after the death of her son. Her tomb was created by Pietro Torrigiano, who probably arrived in England in 1509 and received the commission in the following year. Erasmus wrote the Latin inscription on her tomb. In English it reads: "Margaret, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII, grandmother of Henry VIII, who donated funds for three monks of this abbey, a grammar school in Wimborne, a preacher in the whole of England, two lecturers in Scripture, one at Oxford, the other at Cambridge, where she also founded two colleges, one dedicated to Christ, and the other to St John, the Evangelist." In 1539 Henry VIII had iron railings, elaborately painted with coats of arms and other ornaments erected around the tomb.
This speaks of a grandson who held his grandmother in great esteem and whom it is documented as late as 1539 thought of her.
It is therefore likely him, Henry VIII, the reigning monarch who commissioned a miniature with the likeness of Margaret Beaufort from the court painter.
The artist who made the posthumous miniature of Margaret Beaufort must have had a few sources to work off of.
One would have been this portrait, which is held at Cambridge University, a university Margaret generously supported during her lifetime.
Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (1443–1509)
07.12 | 21:47
It looks like The Tau cross derives from the Egyptian Ankh and basically they are wearing it around their necks, life rebirth, salvation mirror. sun.Stonehenge looks like it is made up of Ts to form c
07.12 | 21:30
are wearing the symbol on effigies at Ingham church Norfolk and Henry StanleyD1528 at Hillingdon Middlesex.Countess Jacquline of Hainaut and husband Frank Borsele are also wearing the insignia others
07.12 | 21:23
These Queens could of been members of the order and i think the Tau cross is a symbol of the Holy Trinity also.These pendants could of been reliquaries.Lady margaret de Bois and Roger de bois
07.12 | 21:17
I think the Tau cross that they are wearing could be linked to the(knights) order of St Anthony, Mary 1st collar looks like it may represent the knotted girdle/waist cord of st Anthony .
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Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536), Queen of England, 1530c. Picture by Christie's
Frances de Vere, Countess of Surrey in a gable hood from c.1532-3 with one fall pinned up
«[F]or a period in the 1530s some fashionable women at court chose to pin up one long black side lappet, with the other hanging down to the shoulder» (In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion by Anna Reynolds, p. 65)
It makes no sense for a miniature genuinely from c.1525 to display a fashion that only came to be over five years later. It does however make perfect sense for a miniature recreated by someone in 1550's who was unfamiliar with the English fashions of the time and working from different paintings of the same person from different times to accidentally copy something historically incorrect into a picture supposedly of that person in the mid-1520's before the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon imploded and Queen Mary I Tudor still had her happy family.
Katherine of Aragon with a Marmoset (detail)
The second of these two last curious elements, and for which I can find no explanation, is that if you look at the close-up of the miniature of Katherine of Aragon with the monkey, it looks like in the upper part of the blackwork embroidery on her shirt that the stitches go directly into her throat. There is no cloth there to support it.
This gives the creepy effect that it looks as if her head has been sewed back on.
Ironically, Katherine of Aragon was not one of the two wives Henry VIII had beheaded.
«This is a particularly striking instance of Hornebolte's style with characteristic bold modelling of the features and pouting scarlet lips.» Artists of the Tudor Court: The Portrait Miniature Rediscovered 1520-1620 by Roy Strong (1983), p. 37. Kimiko
But what if the style that we have all come to think about as typical Hornebolte was in fact ... somebody completely different?
Katherine of Aragon with a Marmoset (detail)
Katherine of Aragon – NPG L244 (detail)
Because the only explanation I can think of is that the 'bust portion' was lifted wholesale from NPG L244. If you look at it, the bows are same. And that whoever did the lifting could not figure out what the outer layer of decoration of the neckline was.
Admittedly, it has actually given me some pause as well. I might be the only one, but I could not immediately make out what it was. After having looked at NPG L244 many, many times, I am now convinced that it is a ribbon or some sort of piece of cloth dyed blue and threaded with pearls or some other kind of white beads.
EDITED TO ADD 16.03.2023: Possible Reference Portrait
According to Jane Haylay: «This was the original portrait upon which monkey portrait is based upon(which was done in Mary I’s lifetime and severely altered.)»
Fourth Difference Between the Buccleuch Miniature and the Royal Ontario Miniature
The Buccleuch Miniature (detail)
The Royal Ontario Miniature (detail)
I did actually notice a fourth difference between the Buccleuch miniature and the Royal Ontario miniature.
If you look at the lady in the Buccleuch miniature it looks as if she has some sort of sheer fabric going from her shoulders to underneath her neckline.
The lady in the Royal Ontario miniature does not have any such sheer fabric in her neckline.
It has puzzled exceedingly why someone would remove this seemingly innocuous detail.
The fifth difference between the miniatures is change of pattern of the silver chain of the outer necklace of the lady.
I think in the 1520's in England it was the fashion to have a simple silver chain or string of beads hanging loosely from or around the neck and then loosely, often in addition to another, fancier necklace.
If you look at the members of Sir Thomas More's family, nearly all of the ladies sport this fashion.
Sir Thomas More and His Family (after Hans Holbein the younger) by Rowland Lockey, 1592 after original from 1527
If I am right in that the Royal Ontario miniature is a copy of the Buccleuch miniature created early in Elizabeth's reign, it stands to reason that Levina Teerlinc would not have been familiar with English fashion of the mid-1520's. Levina Teerlinc only arrived in England in the 1540's. By this time this fashion appears to have passed.
In the 1540's and 1550's blackwork was all the rage, and according to J. Stephan Edwards's assessment of Lady Jane Grey’s Bracelet? silver was not at all the preferred precious metal of the jewellery of the noble class of the 1550's.
It would therefore have made a great deal of sense for one who was unfamiliar with the English fashion of the mid-1520's, but familiar with the English fashion of the 1540's and 1550's to assume that what was actually a silver chain to be blackwork embroidery on a partlet so sheer that it was to be undetectable in a miniature.
Sheer partlets also became fashionable in England in the 1540's, so a foreigner arriving just then would have been very familiar with them.
When recreating the miniature it might have made a great deal of sense to such a person to remove the two scraps of sheer fabric, not understanding the need for two partlets, and perhaps thinking that the scraps ending before the blackwork embroidery began gave the creepy effect of the stitces going right into the skin, as we can see above with the miniature of Katherine of Aragaon.
Anne More (née Cresacre) Wife of John More, son of Sir Thomas More
The preparatory sketch of Anne Cresacre by Hans Holbein the Younger for the More Family Portrait makes it clear that is in fact a necklace of some kind she is wearing around her neck, because there is a pendant hanging from it.
It does look like a silver chain to me, but it could also be a ribbon of some sort, perhaps even a fancy one, with blackwork embroidery.
Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon
When the portrait above was correctly re-identified as Katherine of Aragon, much a ado was made of
«This portrait is paired with a painting of Henry VIII following the recent re-identification of the portrait of Katherine of Aragon. While they did not originally form a pair, they are of a comparable date and scale, and share a similar green damask background. Both are likely to be examples of portrait types of the king and queen that would have been produced in multiple versions, some of which would have been paired in this way.» The Royal Collection
But what differentiates the style of the copyist from the style of Horenbout/bolte?
I now see that I have assigned all of the miniatures with inscriptions to Levina Teerlinc, and all of the miniatures without inscription to Lucas Horenbout. This is actually quite incidental.
I do not actually doubt that the originals, the reference portraits of these 8 miniatures were painted when the King was 34 or 35 years old. I assumed that since Levina Teerlinc copied the motives of the miniatures, she could just as easily have copied the lettering from one miniature and then used it as a «blueprint», if you will, for all the others if noting the age of the subject proved popular among her patrons.
I naturally assumed that miniature now in the Louvre was the one sent to the French court by Henry VIII, the same way I assume that the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in the same Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci and brought by him to France, and not something they picked up at yardsale at some point when the mood struck them. However, it would appear that it was purchased by the Louvre in 1994 from a private collection. (The miniature, not the Mona Lisa, lol)
The assumption that this was the miniature sent to the French court by Henry VIII in 1527, was the basis for assigning it to Horenbout, not the lack of an inscription. I still think that this is a natural assumption to make, however, and will hold on to it for now.
Looking over the miniatures now, however, I realise that it is entirely possible that the handwriting is actually Levina Teerlinc's own, and that all of the miniatures carrying this handwriting consequently belong to her.
That would mean that the Fitzwilliam miniature is her work.
At present, however, I do not feel that I have enough information to conclude with anything definitely.
I have previously mentioned Lisby1's quite frankly brilliant observation about the emaciated thinness of the arms as common to the miniatures ascribed to Levina Teerlinc.
I did not notice that either.
No, what struck me was two specific things:
The way she drew fur.
And how much more detailed the pattern of clothing was in the copies, as opposed to the originals.
That is to say, these began as two completely different observations. The first one I made when looking at a miniature of Lady Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford, the sister of Lady Jane Grey.
This one is, quite correctly, attributed to Levinca Teerlinc today. She has, again, quite rightly, the thin, emaciated arms noted by Lisby1.
At the time, however, I paid this no heed. No, what impressed me was the artist's amazing ability to draw fur. Anyone who has ever tried to draw a dog, or really, any animal at all, know that a blob with the right colour is usually the best result one may hope fur [sic].
I had never seen an artist manage to create such a realistic fur-like effect before.
How does that work?
It was Dorothy's son Algernon Percy who married Theophilus Howard's daughter Elizabeth, and that was in October of 1642, when Charles I had been imprisoned since June of that year, and presumably not receiving any gift of miniatures.
And that was obviously quite a different daughter than Theophilus Howard's daughter Katherine, who was the one who married George Stewart (or Stuart), 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny, the first known owner of the Henry Fitzroy miniature, who gave it to Charles I, and who would die on the 23rd of that same October, making the timeline quite impossible for it, even if a merry gift-giving of miniatures had been going on right in the middle of the civil war.
But wait. Hadn't I come across Theophilus Howard's name in yet another place while researching this?
I checked my notes.
Yes. Theophilus Howard was the one presented the RCIN 420640 and RCIN 420010 miniatures of Henry VIII to Charles I by c.1639.
No less than four of the inscribed miniatures have a link to Theophilus Howard.
Lord George Stuart, the first known owner of the miniature of Henry Fitzroy, was married to Theophilus' daughter Katherine.
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, the first known owner of the Royal Ontario miniature, was married to the granddaughter of Theophilus' daughter Elizabeth.
«Described in this catalogue and referred to as being displayed over the chimney in the Manuscript Room is a miniature portrait thought at that time to be a representation of Lady Jane Grey. The Catalogue reports that the miniature, along with several other miniature portraits, including one thought to depict Jane Seymour and another of Thomas Seymour, Came into the possession of Mrs. Grenville from the collection of her grandfather Charles, Duke of Somerset.»
As luck would have it, all of these three miniatures were engraved by Robert Cooper, and copies of these engravings are now in the Royal Collection and in the National Portrait Gallery. We can therefore with certainty ascertain which miniatures these were and how they looked like.
The miniature thought at that time to be a representation of Lady Jane Grey, is of course Katherine Parr, wearing her distinctive crown headed brooch, and according to a later sales text, a crimson dress.
Another source would have been her tomb, which was created by Pietro Torrigiano, who probably arrived in England in 1509 and received the commission in the following year.
Tomb of Margaret Beaufort in Westminster Abbey
The gilded bronze sculpture on the tomb depicts Margaret with her head resting on pillows and her hands raised in prayer, wearing garments characteristic of widowhood; the face was probably sculpted from a death mask.
Yet another source to Margaret's appearance would have been those who knew her, and particularly those who knew her well, like Henry VIII and others.
As we can see, based on the still existing sources, it is quite a good likeness.
King Henry the Eight and Queen Katherine his Wife and Margaret Mother of the Illustrious King Henry VII
If we examine these three miniatures, there are some striking similarities between them. The lettering is similar, they are all three of them inscribed, unusually for the time, and they all appear to be painted by the same hand.
Of course, this is no very controversial statement. It has always been assumed that these were painted by the same hand.
By necessity we also know that the Margaret Beaufort miniature was posthumous.
What is new is my suggestion that the other two are posthumous too.
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset
We often forget that Henry VIII was also a father who had lost a child.
Of course he had lost many children by Katherine of Aragon, as babies, but he also lost one that was nearly grown.
Well was it for them that Henry Fitzroy his natural son ... was dead, otherwise (some suspect) had he survived King Edward the Sixth, we might presently have heard of a King Henry the Ninth, so great was his father's affection and so unlimited his power to prefer him
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset (1519–1536)
«Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset (1519-36), was the illegitimate son of Henry VIII by Elizabeth Blount, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. The child was officially acknowledged by the King after the early deaths of the three sons born to the Queen. Following his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's attachment to Henry Fitzroy assumed a greater significance, particularly when his second wife also failed to produce a male heir. Appointed Knight of the Garter in 1525 and made Duke of Richmond and Somerset in the same year, Henry Fitzroy was given several important positions, including that of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His education was entrusted to the distinguished classical scholar Richard Croke, who had taught Greek to Henry VIII, and was extended by attendance at the court of Francis I in France for eleven months in 1532. It appears that Henry VIII contemplated making Henry Fitzroy his heir, but whatever the King's intentions may have been, the plan was spoilt by Henry Fitzroy's premature death of tuberculosis at the age of 17. It is possible that this miniature was painted at the time of Fitzroy's marriage in 1534 to Mary Howard, daughter of the third Duke of Norfolk, Treasurer of the Household and Earl Marshal.
The miniature is a typical work by Horenbout, whose style is detectable in the modelling of the features, the prominent shadows under the eyes and mouth, and the form of the inscription seen against a blue background. The sitter is vividly characterised in what is in essence an informal portrait, one of the first in British art, and a significant prototype for what was to prove the keynote of intimacy in the art form of the portrait miniature over successive centuries. The casual clothes, probably a nightcap and chemise, may be associated with his physical frailty.
Inscribed HENRY DVCK.OFF RICHEMÕD and ÆTATIS SVÆ.XV°
Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002
Lord George Stuart; by whom given to Charles I(?); Charles II; left Royal Collection c.1700; Horace Walpole; by descent; sale of the contents of Strawberry Hill, George Robins, 17.5.1842 (31); bought for 2nd Duke of Buckingham; Stowe Sale,Christie's, 15.3.1849 (49); Charles Sackville Bale; by whom sold Christie's, 24.5.1881 (1418); bought by Queen Victoria»
«The painting is inscribed on either side of Mary's head and dated: 'ANNO DNI.1544 LADI MARI DOVGHTER TO THE MOST VERTVOVS PRINCE KINGE HENRI THE EIGHT THE AGE OF XXVIII YERES'. The date of 1544 is entirely consistent with the technique and materials used in the work. The inscription has been confirmed as an original part of the picture.»
Now, as I have said, non-posthumous portraits in this era inscribed with the identity of the sitter is so rare as to be almost non-existent. This is one of the only examples (the only?) I can think of. It must seen in connection with the Third Succession Act, or the Succession to the Crown Act of 1543, that again restored Mary to succession, after having been excluded from it in the first and second succession acts.
It was quite a moment of triumph for Mary, both privately and publicly, after many years of humiliations and an at best rocky relationship with her father.
It is not unnatural that she would want to proclaim that triumph for all the world, or at least for everyone who came in contact with the portrait.
What is interesting is that the inscriptions of HENRY DVCK.OFF RICHEMÕD / ÆTATIS SVÆ.XV° and ANNO DNI.1544 LADI MARI DOVGHTER TO THE MOST VERTVOVS PRINCE KINGE HENRI THE EIGHT THE AGE OF XXVIII YERES are very similar.
The composition of those two inscriptions, I mean.
Of course, there is nothing terribly revolutionary or strikingly original about the composition of either inscription, but we must remember that miniatures, and even portrait painting itself, was in its infancy in England. The early inscriptions we have looked at, those of the miniatures of Henry VIII, Katherine of Aragon and Margaret Beaufort, differ from these quite significantly.
Which makes me wonder if Mary based her inscription on one on an already existing miniature, or if the inscription on the miniature was based on the inscription on the portrait.
Because I believe that also this miniature was posthumous.
One thing is the aforementioned inscription. If it had been ordered from life by the Duke or someone who knew him, there would have been no need for an inscription, because they would have known who he was. Memorial miniatures often had an inscription, however, regardless of who they were ordered by.
The second is the informal outfit. Like the Royal Collection entirely correctly writes: The sitter is vividly characterised in what is in essence an informal portrait, one of the first in British art. Could this be because his image was being recreated by someone who had known him well, known him intimately, someone who had seen him in precisely this sort of setting? Like a sibling or a parent? This was how someone remembered him, as opposed to how he would have wanted to appear in a portrait?
The third is the marked resemblance to Henry VIII. Of course, it is entirely possible that Henry Fitzroy and Henry VIII just looked alike. They were father and son after all. That Edward VI and Henry VIII did not look strikingly alike in their portraits does not signify, such is the luck of the draw with genetics. Nor the fact that the similarity between this portrait purportedly of Henry Fitzroy (disputed) does not bear any overwhelming likeness to Henry VIII. That is the image of a child, not a boy nearly grown, and we do not know that it is of Henry Fitzroy. It does have the same eyes as the miniature, though. Of course the resemblance could have been there in real life, or it could (partially) be a result of using one of the miniatures of Henry VIII as a reference image, and the one who commissioned the miniature was someone who wished this likeness to be emphasised.
The Royal Colletion also writes: The miniature is a typical work by Horenbout, whose style is detectable in the modelling of the features, the prominent shadows under the eyes and mouth, and the form of the inscription seen against a blue background. However, if, as suggested above on this page, this was not the typical traits of Lucas Horenbout, but of Levina Teerlinc, that means that this miniature too is the work of Levina Teerlinc, not Lucas Horenbout.
This means that the miniature potentially could have been ordered by both Henry VIII and Mary I Tudor. Henry VIII was his father. Mary I Tudor was fond of her brother. She was at Framlingham Castle on her way to visit him when she received the news that he had died.
However, since Levina Teerlinc did not arrive in England until after 1544, the portrait must necessarily predate the miniature if the miniature was indeed painted by her. If the composition of the inscription of the portrait inspired the composition of the inscription of the miniature, the miniature must have been commissioned by Mary I Tudor at some time during her reign of 1553–1558.
Lord George Stuart
According to the Royal Collection, the earliest known provenance for the miniature of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset is 'Lord George Stuart; by whom given to Charles I(?)'.
George Stewart (or Stuart), 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny (17 July 1618 – 23 October 1642) was a Scottish nobleman and Royalist commander in the English Civil War. He was the son of Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox, and his wife Katherine Clifton, 2nd Baroness Clifton, and the brother of James Stewart, 1st Duke of Richmond and 4th Duke of Lennox, and of the Royalist commander Lord Bernard Stewart.
Stewart, his older brother Henry, and younger brother Ludovic were brought up at Aubigny in France as Roman Catholics under the charge of their paternal grandmother, the old Duchess-Dowager, Katherine de Balsac.
Stewart's father, the Duke of Lennox, died in 1624, and Stewart became a ward of his cousin, King Charles I of England. He inherited the Lordship of Aubigny at the age of 14 on the death of his elder brother Henry in 1632. By 1633, he was a student at the Collège de Navarre, part of the University of Paris, and he did homage to Louis XIII of France for the lordship of Aubigny on 5 August 1636, shortly after his eighteenth birthday. Later that year he moved to England.
In 1638 he secretly married Katherine Howard, the daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, and Elizabeth Home, without her father's consent, offending his guardian the king.
Probably painted on the occasion of their marriage in 1538
Sir Anthony van Dyck
A very entertaining write-up of their romance can be found here:
'Luckily, it seems that all’s well that ends well and the happy couple were forgiven for their transgression and welcomed back to court, where they enjoyed much favour. Their London residence was on Queen’s Street near Covent Garden and it was there that in January 1640 her younger sister Lady Margaret Howard was married to Roger Boyle, the 1st Earl of Orrery.'
Could we perhaps here make an educated guess that the gifting of the miniature of Henry Fitzroy to Charles I happened at this point in time, at the reconciliation? As either a part of getting back into the king's good graces after the clandestine marriage, or as a thank you gift that they had?
George Stewart, 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny, was of French-Scottish heritage on his father's side, making it unlikely that he had inherited the miniature from his own kin on his father's side. His mother was Katherine Clifton, the daughter of Sir Gervaise Clifton, 1st Baron Clifton (c.1570 – 14 October 1618), and Katherine, a daughter of Sir Henry Darcy (a previous Knight of the Shire).
Sir Gervaise Clifton, 1st Baron Clifton Clifton was a son of Sir John Clifton (d.1593) of Barrington Court, Somerset, by his wife Anne Stanley, daughter of Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Monteagle (1507–1560) and Lady Mary Brandon (1510–1540/4). Sir John Clifton's father was a London merchant, Sir William Clifton (d.1564), who had purchased the manor of Barrington from Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk.
There does not appear to be any immediate connection between any of his ancestors and either Anne Boleyn (or indeed any member of either the Boleyn or Howard family) or Henry Fitzroy. Of course, Mary Brandon, Baroness Monteagle, spent most of her time at court. But neither she or her husband appear to have been a part of the circle around Henry Fitzroy, which included his wife Mary Howard, his cousins Lady Margaret Douglas and Henry Grey, his wife's brother Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and William Parr, Katherine Parr's brother.
Furthermore, until 1536, he lived in France, making opportunities to gift miniatures to the king sparse.
The most logical course of events is that the miniature was brought into the marriage by his wife, and that it was gifted to the king after this marriage had taken place in 1538.
But who were her family?
Well, she was a Howard, of course. As the biography states, she was the daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, and Elizabeth Home. This immediately triggered something in my memory. Upon perusing my notes, I saw that this was the same Theophilus Howard who was the great-grandfather of Lady Elizabeth Percy, wife of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset and the first known owner of the Royal Ontario miniature.
Did the miniature of Henry Fiztroy come from his wife, Mary Howard, and thence through the descent from her brother's children to Katherine Howard's husband, Lord George Stuart?
Or as a gift from Elizabeth I to Dorothy Devereux together with the Royal Ontario miniature?
But wait a moment. After writing the above sentence, I read through it, and then I read through it again.