Miniatures, portraits of intimacy and love

I have always loved miniatures portraits, there is something utterly charming and attractive about these small scale detailed portraits, something very intimate as well: before the age of photography these were the only way to carry the memory of the beloved ones, lover, parent, children…

The art of miniatures as portraits started in Renaissance England at the Tudors court with artists such as Nicholas Hilliard or Isaac Oliver and flourished until the mid 1850 which marks the dawn of photographic era.

A really lovely and interesting illustrated book has been recently published : « La Miniature, Portrait de l’Intimité » Norma Editions.

16th century

Isaac Oliver , child portrait – 16th century

Nicholas Hilliard – portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh

Nicholas Hilliard, Portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1st

Isaac Oliver, Symbolic « Passionate love as flames  » portrait – 16th century

« Erotic » miniature portrait – 16th century

Symbolic Nicholas Hilliard « In Memoriam » miniature ( the man holds the hand of the deceased beloved one)

17th century

18th century

 « mother and child »

late 18th century child miniature

late 18th century beautiful pearl framed miniature

19th century