The word miniature, derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript; initially painted with that pigment.
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations. In the most strict definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript only refers to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver, but is now used to refer to any decorated or illustrated manuscript.
The majority of surviving manuscripts are from the Middle Ages, although many illuminated manuscripts survive from the Renaissance, along with a very limited number from Late Antiquity.
Black Prince receives Aquitaine c1386
Bute Book of Hours by English School circa 1500
Coram Rege Roll of Elizabeth I. The roll records court proceedings 1581
Furness Abbey Manuscript Date 1412
Gilbert de Porée, French work from Poitiers.circa 1150
Illuminated initial from a 15th century book of statutes showing the King in Parliament c1480
Grant of arms to Sir Nicholas Bacon (1569)
Illuminated initial letter showing Henry IV c1402
Illuminated initial of King Henry II on his deathbed 13th century
Lancastrian_Rose Coram Rege Roll of Henry VII. c1500
Page from the Arthurian Romances illuminated manuscript France at the end of the 13th century
Painted by Simon Bening. c. 1540
Plate from Palæography Notes upon the History of Writing and the Medieval Art of Illumination
Portrait of Queen Anne
The Ranworth Antiphoner 15th century illuminated songbook
The Opening of the Third Seal
The Third Horseman
William de Brailes The Eighth Plague Locusts c1250
The Vision of the Throne of God and the Twenty Four Elders about 1255 - 1260