Miniatures are evocative objects, sometimes of great technical virtuosity and often of compelling historical interest. They have enormous appeal not only for the scholarly community but also for a more general audience. This publication is a catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection of more than three hundred European miniatures. In origin these works fall into three categories—British, French, and Continental—and date from the early sixteenth century to about 1850. The collection includes one of two known portrait miniatures by Jean Clouet, who is credited with originating this genre, and three of no more than twenty recognized portrait miniatures by Hans Holbein the Younger, the first great master of this art. Most of the important figures in this field—Hilliard, Hoskins, Cooper, Hall, Fuger, Zincke, Cosway, and Isabey—are represented, as are several painters who worked primarily in larger formats—Fragonard, the Van Blarenberghes, and Rosalba Carriera, for example. The majority of the miniatures are hitherto unpublished.