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Edward Norgate

(1580—1650) miniature painter, musician, and writer on art


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(1580×9–1650). English miniature painter and calligrapher. Norgate's importance lies in his authorship of Miniatura; or, the Art of Limning (c. 1646; Oxford, Bodleian Lib.), a technical manual. Evidence in this manuscript suggests that he may have been trained by Hilliard, whose working practice he describes. In 1611, probably through the influence of his stepfather, the Bishop of Ely, he entered the employment of James I. He served the King in a variety of capacities including those of organ-tuner, calligrapher, and courier and after James's death in 1625 remained in the royal household. Norgate was also a protégé of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel (1586–1646), and familiarity with the royal pictures and those of Howard, the two finest collections in England, developed his powers of connoisseurship. In 1639 he was involved in commissioning Jacob Jordaens to decorate the Queen's Cabinet at Greenwich. He was dismissed from court after the King's execution in 1648. Despite his contemporary fame virtually none of his works survive apart from a miniature of his wife, Judith Norgate (1617; London, V&A).

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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