The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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Miniature

A small and detailed piece of art, usually a portrait, executed in gouache or watercolour. Sixteenth century miniatures were usually painted in body colour on playing cards or on vellum. In the seventeenth century portrait miniatures were sometimes painted in oil on a metal surface. In the eighteenth century the character was changed by the introduction of ivory as a ground, often painted in transparent watercolour.

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