- The birth of the technique
- Miniatures on ivory first appeared in the eighteenth century. While they present stylistic variations depending on where and when they were executed,
in general the technique is relatively uniform. Old treatises describe them as painting in gouache, a term that covers water-based pigments on ivory...
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- Support, ivory panels
- The small panels of ivory were made by cutting the tusk longitudinally, for which reason its width determined the diameter of the sheet. The largest
ivory panel in the Prado's collection is the Portrait of the Infanta Luisa Carlota by Luis de la Cruz y Ríos,...
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- The paint layer
- Miniaturists began their portraits with a preparatory drawing. Various examples in pencil have been encountered but it is not easy to access them as on
some occasions they are concealed beneath the paint while in other cases they were executed with a brush in the same technique and using the same pigments as
the miniature itself...
- The frame is important for the preservation of a miniature as it acts as a protective and stable environment. All the Prado's miniatures are framed
although many of the frames are not original and a large number have been subsequently altered. It is common to find pieces of paper, card or cloth that fill
in the space at the back and fix the miniature into the frame...
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