Portrait Miniature Artists and How to Form a Collection
inOctober 2, 2012 - 2:36am
It was recently suggested I write an article to touch on two very vast subjects: Portrait miniature artists and how to form a collection. The thought of writing a brief tutorial-article on the subject is overwhelming to consider (to say the least!). Portrait miniatures (AKA Limning's) go way back, centuries back!
Artists didn't often sign when these miniature portraits first became popular and sought after... The artists were not aware of the impact these small wonders would have to future generations. Also, keep in mind, these small portraits were originally created for private viewing by the sitter, recipient or immediate families. A very private token to express love and on occasion to memorialize a loved one that passed.
In the beginning there were only a few well known artists whose styles can be recognized among the educated specialists... other creators likely didn't paint enough portraits to become recognized in their craft.
For those more popular artists called upon to create these limning's that did indeed sign, but not religiously, it becomes a matter of learning the distinct style. Often it takes an expert dealer or seasoned collector to attribute. This may take years, decades of experience to gain the confidence needed to do such attributions.
For the beginners, one might wish to focus on one area or region at a time to familiarize yourself with the artists of that area or era. Makes learning about this wonderful art-form a bit less intimidating. Also ones budget and finances will most certainly come into play when making a wish list of artists you may want in your collection. If named artists aren't "a must" for you it's much easier to quickly form a unique collection for a more reasonable expense.
Some enthusiasts collect American Miniatures, others solely by British artists or perhaps your the kind of collector that appreciates having works from the above and some Continental portraits also included for a well rounded collection.
Another factor will be the kind of sitter that appeals to you. Will you collect child sitters? Ladies? Gents? Miniatures with animals or multiple subjects within one portrait? Military? Mourning? Starting off slowly, viewing many styles and absorbing as much information as you can will have you on your way to learning about this fascinating subject and what captivates you most. Perhaps you want to focus more on the sitters themselves with known history or named sitters that can be researched, rather than seeking out the specific artists commissioned to capture their likeness?! As you learn more you may find your collection growing, changing and evolving, as you do, while gaining knowledge and a greater preference, which is part of the fun in collecting!
If/when published I hope this article helps some of the Ruby Lane clientele in where to start when it comes to learning on the artists and "how too" of collecting, there is SO MUCH on this subject I may need to follow up with another article, further breaking down this subject.
Thanks so much for your time in reading...Happy Collecting!
Written by Joy Korzenko
Joy's Tiny Treasures on Ruby Lane
Byline for article:
Joy's Tiny Treasures on Ruby Lane is run by Joy Korzenko and has just Re-located from Long Island, New York to Fort Mill, South Carolina. Specializing in Antique Cameos & Portrait miniatures I strive to offer Top-Notch customer service and a Fresh selection that is ever changing. I pride myself on keeping inventory that suites all Collector's taste's and budgets too~ Something for everyone! Layaway s are encouraged, so please do come browse~ Open 24-7 for your shopping convenience.