Miniature portraits

The miniature portrait collection, which includes crowned heads, statesmen and service men, comes on various supports; its iconography and origins are also quite diverse. These small objects are first of all fascinating because of their historic and documentary value. For art historians, miniature portraits are of very special interest. This is even more true for the military miniature, as it leads to debates on the (re)construction of military identity and the representation of national history. In this framework, tradition and convention are of the utmost importance and influence the intriguing military iconography.

Through their style, miniatures often acquired an international character. Portrait painters, mostly at work in different countries and trained internationally, of course played a key part in this respect. Most miniatures are not signed, although some famous names, such as Gasparoli, Guérin, Ducaju or Buck, do appear in our collection.

Last but not least, miniature portraits sometimes offer an unexpected but penetrating view of the personal life of the person represented, of his character, of his expectations. They make historic figures human.