James VI of Scotland (1566–1625) was the only child of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a cousin to England’s Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Upon Elizabeth’s death, the Scottish heir ascended to the English throne as James I. This smooth transition of power united England, Scotland, and Ireland for the first time as Great Britain in 1603.

King James retained Elizabeth’s court painter, Nicholas Hilliard, and commissioned numerous portraits of his wife, Queen Anne of Denmark, and their royal children. James saw the power of image for political and diplomatic purposes, using miniatures as gifts during peace negotiations with Spain in 1604, and as a tool for the strategic marriage of his daughter, Princess Elizabeth (future Queen of Bohemia).


  • Title: James I of England
  • Creator: Nicholas Hilliard
  • Creator Lifespan: 1547-1619
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Date Created: 1609-1614
  • Location Created: England
  • Physical Dimensions: oval: 1 7/8 x 1 1/2 in.
  • Type: Portrait Miniatures
  • Medium: Watercolor on vellum
  • Credit Line: The Latter-Schlesinger Collection, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter
  • Accession Number: 74.343

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