Miniature art

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Miniature chair; by Peter Carl Fabergé; made between 1896 and 1906; Gold, silver gilt, enamel over engine turned ground simulating brocaded textile, rubies and diamonds; overall: 10.5 x 5.3 x 4.8 cm; Cleveland Museum of Art (USA)
Miniature oil painting of Hamilton Pool, Texas Hill Country; oil on 2.5 x 3.5 in. panel

Miniature art or painting in little is a genre that focuses on art (especially painting, engraving and sculpture) with a long history that dates back to the scribes of the medieval ages. Miniature art societies, such as the World Federation of Miniaturists (WFM), provide applicable definitions of the term.[1] An often-used definition is that a piece of miniature art can be held in the palm of the hand, or that it covers less than 25 square inches or 100 cm². Subjects are depicted in 1/6 actual size, and in all paintings the spirit of miniaturisation should be maintained.

Miniature art has been made for over 1000 years and is prized by collectors. The U.S. White House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Astolat Dollhouse Castle and museums around the world have collections of miniature paintings, drawings, original prints and etchings, and sculpture.[citation needed]

Miniatures are executed on a very small scale for books or albums on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India.

Artists of the miniature art genre[edit]

Artists known for working in miniature include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Size definitions of miniature painting Archived 2002-02-04 at
  2. ^ "When science and art produce nanosculpture marvels"., Nancy Owano. 18 Nov 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Burton, Sue (1995). The Techniques of Painting Miniatures. B.T. Batsford Ltd. ISBN 0-7134-7459-9.
  • Coombs, Katherine (1998). The Portrait Miniature in England. V&A Publications. ISBN 1-85177-206-5.
  • Foskett, Daphne (1987). Miniatures Dictionary and Guide. The Antique Collectors' Club Ltd. ISBN 1-85149-063-9.
  • Frank, Robin Jaffee (2000). Love and Loss American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures. Yale University Art Gallery. ISBN 0-300-08724-1.
  • Historic and Contemporary Miniature Artists (1994). Timeless Treasures (DVD). The Miniature Art Society of Florida.
  • Hughes, Johnson (1994). How to Paint Miniatures. Quintet Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7858-0029-8.
  • Johnson, Dale T. (1990). American Portrait Miniatures, In The Manney Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0-87099-597-9.
  • Livermann, Petryszak (2000). Catalogue of the Miniature Collection. The Miniature Art Society of Florida.
  • Mundy, Bill (2005). Portrait Miniatures. William P. Mundy. ISBN 0-9550017-0-6.
  • Murdoch, John (1981). The English Miniature. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02778-8.
  • Phillips, Arturi (2012). Dictionary of Miniature Painters 1870-1970. Portrait Miniature Club. ISBN 978-2-9536625-1-1.
  • Reynolds, Graham (1998). British Portrait Miniatures. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59202-X.
  • Siegrist, Wes (2010). Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America. Wes Siegrist. ISBN 978-0-9821278-3-4.
  • Willies, Joan Cornish (1995). Miniature Painting. Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 0-8230-2979-4.
  • Wood, Elizabeth Davies (1989). Painting Miniatures. A&C Black Ltd. ISBN 0-8230-3717-7.