Nicholas Hilliard 1547-1619

By: Paul Toscano

Hilliard, Nicholas

Hilliard was born in 1547 and raised in Exeter and London of the United Kingdom. He also spent most of his life there. As a young boy Hilliard's father was a goldsmith and Hilliard was very inspired by his father's work, therefore Hilliard became a goldsmith and a painter at a very young age because his father taught him well and he really enjoyed it. Hilliard spent his entire life creating paintings and portraits of people. When he became older he had paintings hung up in a museum in London. People noticed that his paintings were very creative and amusing. Therefore he became very popular because people all throughout London thought he was very talented and they wanted to become his patrons. Hilliard had many patrons some of them were Robert Brandon, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Robert Dudley, and Sir Robert Cecil. In Hilliard's career he created many successful paintings and portraits, some of them were Henry Wriothesley, Wet-in-Wet, and the most famous of all George Clifford. That painting was his most successful painting that he has ever created and it is in many museums and has thousands of replicas around the world, in fact it was so successful a man paid Hilliard 75,000 dollars to buy it and in 1590 that was like 750,000 thousand dollars today. Some of the replicas are at auctions and the starting bid is at 100,000 dollars. Hilliard was one of art's greatest and his paintings and life are still greatly honored because of the way he changed art forever.

The Painting of George Clifford

Hilliard's Masterpiece

This painting by Hilliard is his best and most popular piece of art that he has ever created in his career. The name of this master-piece is the George Clifford painting. Hilliard created it in 1588, and it was so significant because it was very good and it was the first painting of a average guy who paid the artist who painted a picture of him. Therefore more people paid Hilliard and other artists to get pictures of them for a reasonable price. It is also significant today because at an auction the painting's starting bid was 75,000 dollars. I find this piece very interesting because it was the painting that changed the way some and most artists gain their popularity and their money. I also find it interesting because today it is almost worth more than an American muscle-car. Hilliard and the painting of George Clifford relate to the Renaissance "ism" of Capitalism because since Capitalism has to deal with economy, Hilliard changed the way artists make most of their money. He got random people to pay him and other artists a ton of money to paintings of them. Therefore artists have become almost twice as rich as they already were.

Work Cited

Pioch, Nicholas. Hilliard, Nicholas. London, United Kingdom: BMW Foundation, 2002. Web.


Hilliard, Nicholas. George Clifford . N.d. n.p. Web. 29 Jan 2013.


"Nicholas Hilliard." The Hiliard Society of Miniturists. The Hilliard Society. Web. 29 Jan 2013.


"Nicholas Hilliard." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan 2013.