Friday, December 06, 2019

Review: Annual Exhibition 2019 of the Royal Miniature Society

Yesterday, I finally got to visit the 2019 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors and Gravers 2019 at the Mall Galleries yesterday. 

As with the ROI Exhibition this was one I had planned to visit more than a week earlier. My ankle had other ideas!

It was good to see the display cases back in the North Gallery and to see old favourites as well as new work.

The display cases for the Miniature Artwork in the North Gallery at the Mall Galleries.
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Past and present - old and new

The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers is a very old art society having been founded in 1896. Its Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales - who also awards one of the prizes.

The old.....

The Society's Aims are to Esteem, Protect and Practise the traditional 16th Century art of miniature work, emphasizing the infinite patience needed for its fine techniques.
Miniature painting of course has a very long tradition. The exhibition always pays respects to its history. This time it had images of its founder and also a memorial display by one of its eminent past members.

I was looking at the names of exhibitors and it struck me that some of the artists that I used to view are no longer with us while others are completely new.  Maybe it's just that I'm getting older myself - but I'm not quite sure we ever get really used to seeing art which is not quite what it used to be - and then not seeing any art at all.....

...and the new 

However the other side of the coin is that new miniature artists are emerging all the time - in part because this exhibition encourages artists to try miniature art.

One of the benefits of this exhibition is that it is always very good about having a miniature artist working in the gallery on most days of the exhibition (although there won't be one there on Sunday as it's a half day).  You can see how they work, view stages of a completed work and take a look at the brushes and media they use for their stippling.

Media used by Michael Coe - Schminke watercolours are stippled on vellum

One such artist who is new to miniature art is Dorian Radu who this year won The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Gold Memorial Bowl award for his painting of The Cigar Aficianado

The Cigar Aficianado by Doria Radu
The Cigar Aficianado by Doria Radu

Jade (acrylic on board) by Raoof Haghighi 

What's interesting is that both Dorian and Raoof Haghighi are artists I first met in relation to other open art competitions. Dorian participated in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2019 and Raoof has been selected more than once for the BP Portrait Award.

For those artists who are skilled in working in detail, miniature art can add another dimension to their artistic portfolio.

New subject matter

I may be wrong - but I don't remember ever seeing a warship as miniature artwork before. This one was imposing and oddly suited miniature art very well!

Young miniature artists are apt to come up with wholly new ways of presenting miniature images. This is an absolutely tiny drawing - presented as if in a slide casing!

New website

It's also worth mentioning that the society has a brand new website which is a great improvement.
It also has a slideshow on its home page of the paintings which won awards this year.


You can find out more about previous exhibitions and previous prizewinners in the posts below

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