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This is the second in a series of blogs on miniatures found in museum collections (See Part 1 here). Museums that present the history of European paintings may not seem like a good place to find miniatures but a careful look can reveal some delightful and unexpected examples of miniatures. These paintings are from the National Gallery in London but any major museum will have similar works. I concentrated here on paintings from the 15th to 17th centuries.
This 1598 painting of “The Adoration of the Kings” (Jan Brueghel the Elder) started my search for miniatures in these painting because it has a very prominent boat-shaped container that is being offered as a gift to the baby Jesus.
Carlo Crivelli’s 1486 painting, “The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius,” was painted for an altar in the town of Ascoli which is shown in a model carried by the patron saint of the town.
“The Madonna of the Swallow,” painted in 1490, also by Carlo Crivelli, also uses a building model to locate the painting in a real location, the church for which the painting was commissioned.
Antonella da Messina’s 1475 painting. “Saint Jerome in his Study,” does not include a model of a building but it does have a curious miniature element: a miniature tree in a pot, like a bonsai.
Finally, the 1646 painting, “Witches at their Incantations,” by Salvator Rosa, shows one of the witches using a small human figure to perform a ritual.
If you are a miniaturist you know that the most familiar places to view miniatures are the miniature exhibit and sales room, and the few miniature museums that are located in the center of the country. But for those who can’t visit these venues, there are miniatures located in pretty much every museum across the country. This series on museum miniatures will show you how to locate these wonderful examples of miniature work.
The first set of examples are from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Described as the world’s leading museum of art and design, the V&A may not seem like a place you would find many miniatures. But here are some amazing examples. My definition of what counts as a miniature may differ from yours but I believe every miniaturist should look at this kind of work.
This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.
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