By Hanneke Grootenboer

The finish of the eighteenth century observed the beginning of a brand new craze in Europe: tiny pics of unmarried eyes that have been exchanged by way of enthusiasts or relations. Worn as brooches or pendants, those minuscule eyes served an identical emotional desire as extra traditional mementoes, akin to lockets containing a coil of a enjoyed one’s hair. the style lasted just a couple of a long time, and through the early 1800s eye miniatures had light into oblivion. Unearthing those pix in Treasuring the Gaze, Hanneke Grootenboer proposes that the craze for eye miniatures—and their abrupt disappearance—reveals a knot within the unfolding of the heritage of vision.
 
Drawing on Alois Riegl, Jean-Luc Nancy, Marcia Pointon, Melanie Klein, and others, Grootenboer unravels this knot, studying formerly unseen styles of having a look and techniques for displaying. She exhibits that eye miniatures painting the subject’s gaze instead of his or her eye, making the recipient of the memento an particular beholder who's without end watched. those precious pictures continuously go back the appearance they obtain and, as such, they carry a reciprocal mode of viewing that Grootenboer calls intimate imaginative and prescient. Recounting tales approximately eye miniatures—including the position one performed within the scandalous affair of Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, a portrait of the enchanting eye of Lord Byron, and the loss and longing included in crying eye miniatures—Grootenboer exhibits that intimate imaginative and prescient brings the gaze of one other deep into the center of personal experience.
 
With a bunch of interesting imagery from this eccentric and usually forgotten but deeply inner most souvenir, Treasuring the Gaze offers new insights into the artwork of miniature portray and the style of portraiture.

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