Edward Norgate

Miniatura or the Art of Limning

Edward Norgate; Edited by Jim Murrell and Jeffrey M. Muller

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Edward Norgate, aristocratic friend of Charles I and the Earl of Arundel, made his mark in seventeenth-century England as musician, herald, and courtier. He also wrote Miniatura, a widely circulated study of miniature painting in his era that serves today as both a guide to materials and techniques and a record of the artistic knowledge and taste of Charles' court. This new edition of Norgate's treatise, the first since 1919, introduces and fully annotates the text from technical and art historical perspectives, firmly establishing the prime importance of Norgate's work.

The book provides a detailed account of Norgate's life and many interests, his readership, and his technique. The editors—a noted scholar of seventeenth-century art and an authority on the techniques and materials of miniature painting—closely examine Norgate's text and compare it with other contemporary treatises, placing his techniques in the context of the period. The treatise itself, first written in 1627-28 and then substantially revised in 1648, sets forth in great detail the methods of English miniaturists, from the composition and preparation of pigments and brushes to lighting in the studio. Norgate acknowledges indebtedness to Hilliard, comments on other artists' styles and techniques, and reveals through his own views the English aristocracy's interest in and assimilation of European artistic culture.

Jeffrey M. Muller is professor of history of art at Brown University. The late Jim Murrell was head of conservation at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

"The present edition will surely serve as the definitive text for future studies in this highly specialized field of portraiture."—Art Times

"It is a pleasure to welcome a book that one feels has been a labour of love and from which much can be learned."—Jo Kirby, Studies in Conservation

ISBN: 9780300069136
Publication Date: October 20, 1997
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art
312 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
8 b/w + 8 color illus.