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Your daily dose of artardation…

miniatureRainy day at last! See, this is the English climate I signed on for. I’ve got a fire and a booze and I’m kicked back browsing Her Maj’s art collection.

It’s pretty cool, actually. The royals have a thing for portrait miniatures, and the website has a cool dingus that lets you view the whole collection, zoom in and pan around each individual painting.

I have a thing about portrait miniatures, too. I painted a few back in the day and I’m thinking of taking it up again. It’s always been on Ye Bigge List of Things I Might Like To Do For Money When I Grow Up. It is a long and silly list.

The classic miniature portrait for hundreds of years was a watercolor, painstakingly built up of tiny flecks of paint on a piece of thin vellum glued to the back of a playing card (cards are about the right weight, is all). Later examples are occasionally watercolor on ivory or vitreous enamel or oil on copper.

Her Maj’s collection is mostly fine portraits of royalty (natch), but it was a much more ubiquitous art form, especially toward the end when all manner of spinsters, widows and maiden aunts got in on the act. Accessible to the commoner, in various levels of quality and portrait goofiness.

Photography finally killed off the art form in the 19th C, though it never died away completely. In fact, the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers wasn’t founded until 1896.

And tomorrow? Sunny and fine. AGAIN. Weasel will have to go out and play 🙁

May 27, 2009 — 7:08 pm
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