John Hoskins

I’ve chosen a slightly different direction for today’s blog, as I wanted to look at the work of miniaturist John Hoskins, who worked in London from around 1634. He impressed King Charles I so much that he was given an annuity of £200 for life in 1640, ‘provided that he work not for any other without his Majesty’s licence’. Very little is known about Hoskins except that he was born around 1589 or 1590, and died in 1665. Another well-known miniaturist, Samuel Cooper, was his nephew and pupil.

Here are some of my favourite Hoskins miniatures.


Algernon Sidney by Hoskins
Algernon Sidney (1659), ©Fitzwilliam Museum


Robert Carr by Hoskins
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, ©National Portrait Gallery, London


Officer by Hoskins
Portrait of an Officer, date not given


Lady Mary Glemham by Hoskins
Lady Mary Glemham (1648)


Charles Lucas
Sir Charles Lucas, 1645


Endymion Porter by Hoskins
Endymion Porter (c.1630), ©Metropolitan Museum of Art

Leave a comment


  1. I love Hoskins’s work. Are you familiar with the portrait at the Scottish Portrait Gallery, of a young, fair haired man in a shirt and very elaborate pearl earring? It’s labeled as being Gaston, duc d’Orleans, but that seems wrong to me. Partly it’s the informality of such an image for the heir to the French throne (though being Gaston, hmm, well) but mostly because Gaston was as dark as his brother the King, whom he closely resembled. Or, for that matter, as dark as their sister Henriette Marie.

    It’s good to see all the ones you have here. I’ve not seen any of them before.


  2. I’ve not seen that one, no – I’ll have to look it up! I know shamefully little about any of the miniaturists, but after this little bit of research on Hoskins I do want to know more. It’s easy to forget when you see a miniature on a computer screen that it IS in fact a miniature rather than a full size painting, and that the skill it takes to not only produce a good likeness but also do it in small-scale was so impressive! My favourite one here is Algernon Sidney.


    • Yes! The skill in producing these works is something else. It’s such a delicate process, for want of a better word.

      I was glad to see Charles Lucas. I haven’t seen any portraits of him, outside the Dobson one that gets called him but is called Colonel Neville in the exhibition catalogue, and the other one they identify as being Lucas. Neither is remotely like this man. Is this a firm identification?

      I’d only seen an engraving of Algernon Sidney from much later before, so it’s nice to properly see what he looked like.


  3. Anonymous

     /  May 25, 2016

    A splendid and thoroughly enjoyable book. Congratulations !

    Liked by 1 person


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