The sensitive delineation of the young man’s features, and the use of the apparently unique form of the inverted heart reverse, render the miniature a pictorial parallel of the melancholic humour explored by poets of the period.
A portrait by Isaac Oliver of Ludovic Stuart, 1st Duke of Richmond and 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624), of equally unusual inverted drop shape, is in the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 3063). Interestingly this miniature is depicted in a portrait of the Duke’s widow, Frances Howard, painted circa 1624, in the collection of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat.1
1. Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, Secret Passion to Noble Fashion: The World of the Portrait Miniature, Bath, 1999, p. 19, fig. 4
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