Skip to main content
Select Source:

miniature painting

miniature painting [Ital.,=artwork, especially manuscript initial letters, done with the red lead pigment minium; the word originally had no implication as to size]. In a general sense the term denotes any small, detailed kind of painting, including medieval illumination and much of the finest painting of India and Persia. It is also used to refer to diminutive portraits. Among the earliest European masters of this latter art were Holbein the Younger, Jean Clouet, and Jean Fouquet. English masters famous for their miniatures in the 16th and 17th cent. were Nicholas Hilliard, Isaac Oliver, Samuel Cooper, and Richard Cosway. The early portrait miniatures were executed in a precise, sometimes precious style. Two artists of the 18th cent., the Swede Peter Adolphe Hall and the Venetian Rosalba Carriera, introduced a new freedom of brushstroke, even within the small format. Among those who executed elegant and intimate miniatures in France during the 18th and 19th cent. were Nattier, Fragonard, Boucher, and Isabey. In colonial America, C. W. Peale, Benbridge, Copley, Peter Pelham, and E. G. Malbone were notable exponents of the art. Watercolor on parchment, paper, porcelain, or ivory was the most frequently employed medium for miniatures. The art virtually died with the advent of photography. The Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre, and the Wallace Collection in London have notable collections of miniatures. See articles on individuals, e.g., Nicholas Hilliard and articles on Indian art and architecture and on Persian art and architecture.

See Elvehjem Art Center, Indian Miniature Painting (1971); S. C. Welch, A King's Book of Kings (1972); D. Foskett, Miniatures: Dictionary and Guide (1987).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"miniature painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"miniature painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/miniature-painting

"miniature painting." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/miniature-painting

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

miniature painting

miniature painting Term that originally meant the art of manuscript illumination, but was later applied to very small paintings, usually portraits. In Europe, the earliest miniatures were produced in the late 15th century, and executed in the same materials as illuminated manuscripts. During the 18th century, miniaturists usually painted in watercolour on ivory and sometimes worked in oils on metal.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"miniature painting." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"miniature painting." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/miniature-painting

"miniature painting." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/miniature-painting

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.