What is a miniature?

Traditionally, the only size agreed upon internationally in contemporary miniature art is that the work should be “hand-held”. Subject matter is usually intimate and delicate, being rendered with fine and small brushstrokes in order to accentuate detail. Vibrant, intense colour is typical in a painting. The exact sizes, all small, differ throughout the world. Let our South African Society offer you the following guidelines…..

A drawing, painting or sculpture must adhere to the one/sixth guide. This means that a human head approximately 230mm high must be rendered 38mm or less; a rose which is 120mm should be depicted as 20mm or less. These measurements are acceptable world-wide.
The OUTSIDE measurement of a framed work may not exceed 170mm x 170mm IN AREA including the moulding of the frame.
The frame should be narrow enough to embody the spirit of miniaturism and must be in proportion to the image. In a mounted work the moulding should be no wider than 25mm and in an unmounted work, 30mm.   All works under glass must have a mount, or at least, a “slip” to keep the image from touching the glass. Acid-free materials must be used wherever possible.
Small subjects which do not lend themselves to the one/sixth rule must be rendered “in the spirit of miniaturism”. Here the discretion of the selection committe will apply. Abstract works should be harmony with the delicate spirit of miniaturism.
Importantly, the signature should be neat and very small.
Sculpture, which must be of lasting materials, should fit within a 170mm cube, including the base.
Prints of any technique must be hand-pulled and of a numbered series.
No jewellery, crafts or photographic techniques are acceptable