Using step-by-step demonstrations and a wide selection of paintings, the author examines the work and techniques of 28 eminent miniaturists. Each painting is reproduced actual size, with close-up details showing the methods and techniques used.
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In a book that may at first appear obscure, Burton brings to life an ancient art that, in one form or another, has never really gone out of favor. The author, cofounder and president of the Hillard Society of Miniaturists and executive secretary to the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers, looks at the work of 28 eminent miniaturists. These artists have taken the inspiration of early masters like Holbein and Hillard and moved into new media and subjects. Using watercolor, enamel, oil and acrylic on copper, and paper, ivory substitutes, and vellum, they find any theme, from traditional portraits to currant buns, fair game. Unfortunately, this U.K.-produced book is not nearly as practical for American audiences as Joan Cornish Willies's Miniature Painting: A Complete Guide to Techniques, Mediums, and Surfaces (Watson-Guptill 1995). The lists of suppliers and miniature painting societies in Willies's book have U.S. rather than British addresses. Moreover, Willies explores this lush and luminous art form with greater detail and variety. With its more clearly conceived layout, Willies's is ultimately the book of choice on miniature painting for most libraries.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It is one thing to consider miniature paintings from afar and applaud the technical virtuosities involved. It is quite another to come face-to-face with the miniaturists and their individual processes. From the author's coverage of the techniques and working habits of 28 British miniaturists, it is difficult not to appreciate the painstaking work described and illustrated. Close-up color photographs enhance the text, as do the notes from each painter. Appended is a list of miniature painting societies and a list of suppliers. Barbara Jacobs
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