Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Miniature (painting)
(921 words)

1. Definition

The miniature emerged as an independent artistic genre of small-format paintings in the 16th century. The term was taken from book illustration (Latin minium, the pigment red lead, which was used to decorated initial letters and headings in medieval manuscripts). Often used simply as a synonym for a book illustration, it was transferred to small paintings because, like book illustrations, they were very small and meticulously detailed. The miniature in the early modern period was primarily a domain of portraitu…

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Hindriks, Sandra, “Miniature (painting)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024133>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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