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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 illuminationillumination,
in art, decoration of manuscripts and books with colored, gilded pictures, often referred to as miniatures (see miniature painting); historiated and decorated initials; and ornamental border designs.
..... Click the link for more information. 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 HilliardHilliard, Nicholas,
1537–1619, English miniature painter, son of a goldsmith. Trained first as a jeweler, he was court painter to Elizabeth and to James I. The first true miniaturist in England, Hilliard was self-taught.
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works of art and architecture produced on the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided among India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In the Western world, notable collections of Indian art can be seen in the British Museum, in the Victoria and Albert
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works of art and structures produced in the region of Asia traditionally known as Persia and now called Iran. Bounded by fierce mountains and deserts, the high plateau of Iran has seen the flow of many migrations and the development of many
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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).