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1864 - 1942
These three portrait miniatures are by Salem artist, George Sloane. Born in Salem, Massachusetts and educated at the Boston Museum School. He also studied in Paris from 1899 to 1902, where he began signing his paintings with ‘Paris’ as part of his signature. He is best known for his portraits, miniatures and views.
A portrait miniature is a miniature portrait painting, usually executed in gouache, watercolor, or enamel.
Portrait miniatures began to flourish in 16th century Europe and the art was practiced during the 17th century and 18th century. The first miniaturists used watercolor to paint on stretched vellum. During the second half of the 17th century, vitreous enamel painted on copper became increasingly popular. In the 18th century, miniatures were painted with watercolor on ivory. Portrait miniatures were often used as personal mementos or as jewelry or snuff box covers. They were especially valuable in introducing people to each other over distances; a nobleman proposing the marriage of his daughter might send a courier with her portrait to visit potential suitors. Soldiers and sailors might carry miniatures of their loved ones while traveling, or a wife might keep one of her husband while he was away.
The development of daguerreotypes and photography in the mid-19th century, contributed to the decline of miniatures.
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