(See Project)                 " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-508" title="Hoskins A" src="https://livingstoneart.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/hoskins-a1.jpg" alt="" / Copies were made were for patrons, secret admirers and potential suiters.Another portrait in the V and A collection hints at how the system worked.

Pollok House, just south of Glasgow and near to the Burrell Collection, is an 18th century mansion built by the Maxwell Family now administered by the National Trust for Scotland.

New Perspectives invites artists to produce work suggested by one of the paintings or artefacts in the house and opens to the public on 17th March.

Arbella Stuart was the daughter of Charles Stuart, earl of Lennox (1556-April 1576) and Elizabeth Cavendish (March 3,1555-January 21,1582).

She was raised by her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick who, along with Arbella’s other grandmother, Margaret Douglas, taught her to think of herself as the future queen of England.

They contain micro-clues as to meaning and identity – manner of dress, hairstyle, jewellery and hand gesture.

Fragile objects, painted in watercolour on velum, they were sometimes backed and stiffened with a playing card, in the case of the V and A portrait, an Ace of Spades, the highest card in the pack but also the ‘death card’.

It is by John Hoskins, probable pupil of Hilliard or Oliver, an early apprentice work of the 1610’s and clearly closely related to the ‘Arbella’ miniatures.

The facial likeness is lost in the lantern jaw and drooping lids, possibly because this represents another woman of course but it could also be that a copy of a copy of a copy results in misunderstanding, exaggeration and distortion. The Pollok House painting also appears to contain similar elements of the copyist’s art, a doll-like mannequin of a long dead legend, a martyr, an ancient icon of the doomed Stuart cause.

She did have an excellent claim to the throne, but not as good as that of her cousin, James VI of Scotland.

She was at the center of several plots during the reign of Elizabeth Tudor and under James I ended up under arrest for marrying without royal permission.

Miniatures of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, although sometimes monogrammed by the artist, rarely include a title or dedication because they were a private art form, highly personal love tokens, keep sakes and remembrances.