Miniatures were first painted to decorate and illustrate illuminated manuscripts, and hand-written books The word 'miniature' comes from the Latin word 'miniare' which means 'to colour with red lead', a practice that was used for the capital letters.
Portrait miniatures became fashionable from the 16th-century, mainly in England and France, then spread across the rest of Europe remaining highly popular until the mid-19th century.
Art Miniatures
King Charles II
by Samuel Cooper
Portrait of a Gentleman
c1780
A servant of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger (1498 –1543)
Miniature Portraits
Triple Portrait
by Charles Hayter
King George I
by
Bernard Lens 1718
Catherine II
by Petr Zharkov
Self-portrait by Cosway
Catherine Pavlovn
Queen Catherine of Württemberg by Fleischmann
William Compton
Earl of Northampton
Catherine de medici
Catherine Howard
by Hans Holbein the Younger
Charles Prince of Wales
(later Charles I)
by Isaac Oliver
Clémentine d'Orléans (1817-1907), duchesse de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha
Dalip Singh after Winterhalter
Early 19th century French Miniature Portrait on Ivory of Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon
French astronomer Cesar Francois Cassini by Jean Marc Nattier (1685–1766)
Hercules Robert Pakenham
by William Egley
Indian Portrait Miniature of an Indian Courtesan
Portrait Miniature of a Lady
by John Smart

Napoleon_Bonaparte
by
Isabey
Lady Audley
by Hans Holbein the Younger
Lord Nelson
by Robert Bowyer
Portrait of a Woman
by
Nicholas Hilliard
Portrait of Sir Christopher Hatton
by
Nicholas Hilliard
Portrait of a Woman
by
Nicholas Hilliard
Sir Christopher Hatton
by
Nicholas Hilliard
Nik Alexandrovich
by A Rockstuhl
Margaret Roper
by Hans Holbein the Younger
Portrait of Jeanne Fanny Noisette
by Jean Urbain Guerin
Portrait of Sergei Stroganov
by de Rossi
Portrait of Marie-Antoinette
Queen of France
Queen Maria Josepha Wife of King Augustus III of Poland
Stephen Decatur Jr
portrait miniature
by William Russell Birch 1807
The wife of a court servant of King Henry VIII
by Hans Holbein the Younger
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