Miniature portraiture had its origin in Renaissance humanism. When fifteenth- and sixteenth-century patrons and artists began to abandon religious themes, they turned to landscape, genre, and portraiture. Of these, portraiture was emphatically human-centred, with the primary concern being the creation of a credible likeness. Closely tied to royal patronage, the first miniatures resembled manuscript illuminations in their saturated colours, pictorial backgrounds, and concern for details. This collection forms a distinctive and impressive group, numbering in the hundreds and ranging from sophisticated, European-influenced examples to naive, local efforts. This volume is the result of the generous patronage, diligent study, and sustained interest of a host of donors, scholars, staff members of the Gibbes Museum of Art, funding agencies, and friends of the museum.Distributed for Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association.