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Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art presents Formed from Fire: Enamel Portrait Miniatures
March 27, 2020 - March 28, 2021
Portrait miniatures are intimate tokens of love, loss, allegiance, and affection exchanged between friends. The earliest examples were painted in watercolor on vellum (animal skin). By the 1600s, new techniques of painting enamels facilitated an artist’s ability to paint delicate portraits resembling tiny oil paintings. They offered a robust alternative to watercolor on ivory or vellum because they do not fade. Enamel miniatures are more costly than watercolor miniatures, due to their complex and risky creation process.