Miniature

Miniature

To miniate (from minium, meaning red lead) meant originally to colour or paint with vermilion, to rubricate or illuminate. But miniatures have come to denote the painted scenes, anecdotes, groups of figures or the like, distinct from conventional decoration and by implication more ambitious than historiated, with which the professional artists of the monastic scriptoria or secular ateliers decorated medieval and renaissance manuscripts (and occasionally some special copy of an early printed book). Such pictures would often be full-page; and since the page would not necessarily be of small size, the term miniature, subject as it is to pseudo-etymological confusion, is not a very happy one, but John Evelyn was using it in 1645 and it is no doubt too late to change it.

Danish: Illuminering, kolorering
Dutch: Illuminatie, verluchting
French: Enluminure
German: Miniatur
Italian: Miniatura
Spanish: Illuminado, miniado
Swedish: Färgläggning, illuminering