Perfect Likeness European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum Julie Aronson, Marjorie E. Wieseman

Publication date:
01 Mar 2006
Yale University Press
320 pages:
50 b-w + 280 color illus.
Sales territories:


Diminutive marvels of artistry and fine craftsmanship, portrait miniatures reveal a wealth of information within their small frames. They can tell tales of cultural history and biography, of people and their passions, of evolving tastes in jewelry, fashion, hairstyles, and the decorative arts. Unlike many other genres, miniatures have a tradition in which amateurs and professionals have operated in parallel and women artists have flourished as professionals. 
 This richly illustrated book presents approximately 180 portrait miniatures selected from the holdings of the Cincinnati Art Museum, the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in North America. The book stresses the continuity of stylistic tradition across Europe and America as well as the vitality of the portrait miniature format through more than four centuries. A detailed catalogue entry, as well as a concise artist biography, appears for each object. Essays examine various aspects of miniature painting, of the depiction of costume in miniatures, and of the allied art of hair work.

Julie Aronson is curator of American painting and sculpture, and Marjorie E. Wieseman is curator of European painting and sculpture, at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

'[A] rare 344 page volume that introduces a great collection of almost 2,000 miniatures which charm and fascinate through being artefacts of a bygone period. ... [An] elegant book...illustrated, annotated... erudite... scholarly... revealing cultural history and changing tastes...' - Byron Ireland,