Ever wondered about the big names in the tiny world of European miniature paintings? This post is a quick spotlight on three famous artists who painted little portraits of big important people. From the royal courts of Renaissance France with François Clouet to the elaborate details in Nicholas Hilliard’s works for Queen Elizabeth I, and then to the realistic portrayals by Samuel Cooper, these artists brought miniature painting to the big time. François Clouet (c. 1510 – 1572): He was active during the French Renaissance. His career spanned the middle to late 16th century. Clouet was the go-to guy for royal portraits in the Renaissance, following in his father Jean Clouet’s tiny footsteps. Hilliard Nicolas (1547-vers 1619). Chantilly, musée Condé. Nicholas Hilliard (1547 – 1619): His work primarily falls into the late 16th century and the early 17th century, within the Elizabethan and early Jacobean era in England. Hilliard was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite during the 1500s. The guy in the midst of flames was certainly someone’s favorite. Once you’ve glanced at these, please return to look again. They are mighty little paintings. Samuel Cooper (1609 – 1672): Cooper’s period of activity was in the 17th century, during the Commonwealth and Restoration periods in England. He painted realistic miniatures of famous kings and lords and ladies back in the mid-1600s. Perhaps the paintings were life-size, and the people were just very small. metmuseum Sir Thomas Smith 1667 Samuel Cooper 1609-1672 And there you have it — a quick spotlight on three giants of miniature painting. Thanks for reading. More soon!