Tudor Miniatures by Roland Hui


I am very excited to be listing Roland Hui’s beautiful hand-painted miniatures for sale here at The Anne Boleyn Files.

You may remember me mentioning Roland before, in articles about Tudor portraiture, because he has done extensive research on Tudor portraits and has some very interesting ideas on Anne Boleyn’s portraiture and two miniatures which he believes could be Mary Boleyn and Thomas Boleyn – see The Faces of Thomas Boleyn and Mary Boleyn. Roland also produced a beautiful illuminated Coronation Book for Anne Boleyn – what a talented man!

I’ll let Roland explain about his miniatures in more detail…

One of the most unique aspects of English Renaissance art in the 16th century was the production of portrait miniatures. It is in this delightful art form that the colourful personalities of Tudor history come alive.

Painted on vellum in watercolour, portrait miniatures were very much esteemed as jewelry pieces by the Tudor monarchs and nobility. Elizabeth I herself was known to keep miniatures of her favorites carefully wrapped in her privy chamber, and she even traded portraits with her ‘dear cousin and sister’ Mary Queen of Scots.

Not only did miniatures serve to record a likeness for prosperity, they also acted as tokens of affection and loyalty, and even played parts in diplomatic negotiations. When King Henry VIII was searching for a fourth bride, it was greatly due in part to Hans Holbein’s portrait miniature and panel painting of Anne of Cleves that tied the knot between them.

The tradition of 16th century miniature painting has been revived by reproductions of famous Tudor portraits by artist and Tudor enthusiast Roland Hui. Included are copies of works by Hans Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard, and other Tudor painters.

Each of Roland’s miniatures is entirely hand-painted on calfskin vellum. The process begins with the image sketched onto the vellum, and then painted in painstaking detail in watercolour. To match the shimmering effect of jewels and rich brocades, metallic pearlescent powder, along with touches of gold and silver pigments are added.

I think you’ll agree that Roland’s miniatures are exquisite.

I have listed three miniatures at the moment – Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and a Young Elizabeth – but will be adding more over the next week. Here is a slideshow to show you the ones we’ll be selling.

Click here to visit the Tudor Miniatures page now.

[slideshow id=523 w=400 h=400]

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3 thoughts on “Tudor Miniatures by Roland Hui”
  1. They are exquisite Roland. Such detail. The likeness of the people you have painted is stunning.

    Can I ask…When painting such small pictures, excellent eyesight would be essential,(as well as a steady hand) now-a-days there is wonderful magnifying equiptment to assist an artist to be able to continue to paint beautiful paintings on such a small scale, would the artists of those times have anything to help if their eyesight began to become less sharp, as it does with age. There were glasses of sorts then, but would they be good enough for the artist to continue doing miniatures, or would they have to move on to do larger works of art?

  2. Years ago I found the wonderful Mr. Hui and commissioned him to paint a Tudor Portrait of me. It is wonderful. We treasure it, and perhaps one day soon I can commission him to do portraits of my whole family.

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