Granted that throughout the history of miniature art there have been smaller paintings than others, and the undersize only highlights the meticulousness the artist applied to the work during its original fabrication.
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But there are many paintings that show just that same meticulousness while they differ in size from one another. Some of them can be the slightest bigger, but they are still wonderful specimens of miniature art. The most prominent ones are:
- Jin Yin Hua – The Portraits of 42 American Presidents (2006)
The Chinese artist Jin Yin Hua is famous for his micro paintings. He paints his works on a single human hair and employs a rabbit hair paintbrush for doing so. To be able to see what he is doing, he has to use a microscope.
In the year 2006, he painted the portraits of 42 American presidents, which were uncannily realistic, yet the size of the work was even further uncanny. To be able to see the images, the viewers had to use a magnifier and zoom in a million times.
- Jean Baptiste Weyler – Oval Miniature Portrait (1785-1790)
Jean Baptiste Weyler was one of the most well-known miniature portrait artists in history, he made gorgeous tiny portraits fitted on little pendants to serve as an identification document or a memento from a loved one. They became very popular amongst the royals and elites in France and England through the 16th century and gave him a reputation as the best miniature portrait artist up to the 18th century.
His most legendary portrait was an oval miniature, measured only in 9.6 x 6.9 cm.
- Rembrandt van Rijn – Self Portrait (1630)
Rembrandt made approximately 100 self-portraits throughout his life, but this 15 x 12.2 cm illustration was the only one that went through so much quests by itself.
Back in the day, it was sold and bought in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the amount of 35 florins and then it went on to be part of numerous collections before getting to the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1956.
Many decades later, it was one of the pieces stolen during a robbery to the Nationalmuseum in December 2000, but five years from then, the painting was recuperated and sent back to the museum for being exhibited in opening of their Dutch painting of the Golden Age exhibition.
- Limbourg brothers – Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1410)
This is a special book hours. Books of hours were used in the past for personal religious fervor and contained illumined prayers, this in particular contains stunningly historiated letters and 131 miniatures. The book composes itself of 206 pages of only 21.5 x 30 cm and it is the most famous illuminated Gothic text of the Medieval Ages and the best remaining sample of a French Gothic manuscript.
- Paul Klee – Small Rhythmic Landscape (1920)
Paul Klee was a top artist during the start of the 20th century. The painting we’re discussing is not really inspired, nor it represents any specific real location, but the curious and intriguing charm to it is that Paul Klee attempted to produce a symphony over the canvas by uniting the colors, space and light. And it’s size is only 27.8 x 21.5 cm.
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