Nicholas Hilliard is a famous English jeweler.
Nicholas Hilliard’s constant problems were related to money. Firstly, the customers did not pay very much for the miniatures at that time. Secondly, to all appearances, the artist did not know how to handle money correctly, despite the fact that Elizabeth from 1599 provided him with the payment of permanent maintenance (and even up to that moment she had been granting large sums), and Jacob I from 1617 granted a monopoly on production of miniatures and prints.
During his life, Hilliard spent some time in prison in Lutgate Prison for debt, and also invested in a failed gold mining adventure in Scotland.
It seems that Robert Brandon was able to anticipate the possible financial problems of his son-in-law, so from 1591 he secured a constant cash payment for Alice from the Jewelers’ Guild.
Upon his return from France, Hilliard lived and worked in London. Among the artist’s students were the son of Lawrence, who worked “in the weak manner” of his father, and Isaac Oliver, who later became a court painter at the court of King James Stewart.
He continued to work as a jeweler, making seals and medals for the highest order.
When the deceased Elizabeth on the English throne was replaced by Jacob Stewart, Nicholas Hilliard still remained in high esteem. Moreover, King James turned out to be much more generous to the artist than his predecessor.
Nicholas Hilliard died in 1619. His creative heritage is invaluable for both art lovers and historians.