Date(s) - January 28, 2012 - June 9, 2012
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, University Center for the Arts

January 28 – June 9, 2012

Small Worlds features a collection of European portrait miniatures produced from the 17th to the early 20th century. Today the word miniature is commonly understood as something that is exceptionally small, but the word originally meant the art of painting images in books with water-soluble pigment.The word miniature derives from minium, a red pigment used in manuscript illumination. In the 16th century a specialized group of painters developed the art of the portrait miniature. Their sources were the small scale paintings found in manuscripts and the tradition of antique portrait medallions revived in the Renaissance. Typically created in an oval or round format on a vellum or ivory support, the portrait miniature became widely popular. Originally utilized by the English monarchy as a means of bestowing favor upon a subject, the portrait miniature’s uses blossomed. Worn as a sign of loyalty, as jewelry, or carried privately like a snapshot of a friend or lover, these exquisitely detailed images continue to fascinate today.