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 cooking shape; circa 1700-1799; copper; 1.8 × 3.7 cm; Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Miniature art (historically known as limning or painting in little[1]) 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) and Royal Miniature Society, provide applicable definitions of the term.[2][3] 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. Some exhibits require the subjects to be 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.

Miniature Art Societies hold annual shows around the world. The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, DC, is the oldest miniature art society in the USA. The Miniature Art Society of Florida is possibly one of the largest miniature art shows in the USA. Galleries such as Seaside Art Gallery, The Snowgoose Gallery, and the Ciders Painters of America also hold annual exhibitions where visitors are invited to view the paintings and sculptures under magnifying lenses.

Artists of the miniature art genre[edit]

Ming dynasty glazed ceramic model of a courtyard
Courtyard tower
Courtyard center

Artists known for working in miniature include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fumerton, Patricia (1986). ""Secret" Arts: Elizabethan Miniatures and Sonnets". Representations (15): 57–97. doi:10.2307/2928392. ISSN 0734-6018.
  2. ^ Size definitions of miniature painting Archived 2002-02-04 at
  3. ^ "Submitting Artwork". Retrieved 2020-11-29.
  4. ^ "When science and art produce nanosculpture marvels"., Nancy Owano. 18 Nov 2014.

Further reading[edit]