Apollo
Art Diary

Checkmate – The Game of Kings

30 September 2022

The Sovereign Miniatures of the Early Baroque Period

This show at the Kunst Museum Winterthur (8 October–12 February 2023) looks at the ways that painted portrait miniatures became important as status symbols on the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Painted in watercolour, these miniatures were typically enamelled and designed to be enclosed within a locket or boxes so as they could be carried by their owner; they were ideally suited for communicating social rank, both through the fact of their commissioning and through the depiction of attributes such as dress. It was necessary in these portraits, which were frequently used to broker marriages, for the sitter to be clothed in lavish costumes – a trend that was shaped by the French royal court before spreading outwards across Europe. Highlights of the exhibition include Nicholas Hilliard’s Young Man in Armour in Gold (1547–1619). Find out more on the Kunst Museum Winterthur’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Young man in gold-decorated harness (1594), Nicholas Hilliard. Kunstmuseum Winterthur, on permanent loan from the Art Collection of the City of Winterthur

Maria of Spain (c. 1550), Anthonis Mor. Kunstmuseum Winterthur, on permanent loan from the Art Collection of the City of Winterthur

Maria Stuart (c. 1600), unknown artist. Kunstmuseum Winterthur, on permanent loan from the Art Collection of the City of Winterthur

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