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 via fans or relatives. Worn as brooches or pendants, those minuscule eyes served an analogous emotional desire as extra traditional mementoes, comparable to lockets containing a coil of a enjoyed one’s hair. the style lasted just a couple of a long time, and by way of the early 1800s eye miniatures had light into oblivion. Unearthing those pics 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 historical past of vision.
 
Drawing on Alois Riegl, Jean-Luc Nancy, Marcia Pointon, Melanie Klein, and others, Grootenboer unravels this knot, learning 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 souvenir an specific beholder who's forever watched. those valuable pictures continually 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 function 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 indicates that intimate imaginative and prescient brings the gaze of one other deep into the guts of non-public experience.
 
With a bunch of interesting imagery from this eccentric and more often than not forgotten but deeply inner most memento, Treasuring the Gaze offers new insights into the paintings of miniature portray and the style of portraiture.

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