Perfect Likeness

European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum

Julie Aronson and Marjorie E. Wieseman

View Inside Price: $80.00


April 10, 2006
320 pages, x
50 b/w + 280 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300115802
Cloth

Published in association with the Cincinnati Art Museum

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.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Cincinnati Art Museum (March 4–May 28, 2006)      

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina (August 18–October 22, 2006)

"Perfect Likeness showcases the largest collection of miniatures in the U.S. . . . Crisp close-up reproductions are paired with profiles of the artists, explanations of their painstaking techniques, and illuminating reflections on the emotional appeal of these little masterpieces."—Booklist

“The catalogue is generously illustrated in colour. This work of scholarship adds much to our knowledge of the watercolour on ivory miniature portrait… It will be of inestimable value for the collector and those interested in portraiture, art, design and dress history, jewellery and the material culture of the miniature portrait.” - Paul Caffrey, Irish Arts Review

“[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, Day by Day

"A fine work. . . . An exceptionally thorough, well researched publication. Detailed catalogue entries include an artist bibliography, a full-color image of the work, a discussion of its significance, notes on its provenance, references to the work, and a list of exhibitions in which it appeared."—Betsy Butler, Ohioana Quarterly

"This is a lovely book, with high production values that reflect well upon all concerned. Lavishly illustrated, with colour and halftime photographs of superlative quality, it is a catalogue that all collectors and curators of miniature portraits should seek to acquire."---The Art Book

"A welcome addition to the scholarship on portrait miniatures, encouraging both the general and the specialist reader to understand American, British, and Continental art within a trans-Atlantic context. . . . Perfect Likeness is a fine example of collections-based research that furthers scholarly knowledge, serves as a reference resource, and provides information in a mode that also will appeal to a more casual reader."—Anne Verplanck, Winterthur