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The French-born Isaac Oliver, although principally active as a portrait miniaturist (see cabinet 1: The Portrait Miniature in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries), also made drawings in pen and ink. Both the technique and subject-matter of these drawings reveal Oliver's knowledge of Continental art, gained from travel abroad - he was in Venice in 1596 - and from studying imported engravings. This is one of thirteen drawings that he signed, using the original French form of his surname, 'Ollivier'.

September 2004