Eye Portrait of a young woman / Joseph Sacco / 1844 12 x 9 cm / Menil-foundation, Houston The small portraits were symbolic of “keeping an eye” on a carefully guarded love, as well as a warm reminder of the person’s presence. The watchful eye suited jealous suitors, male and female. These paintings were tiny and set in lockets, brooches, rings or small boxes. Eventually, not just lovers but beloved family members were portrayed. Mourning pieces contained the eye of a departed loved one, sometimes set in a frame of pearls which symbolized tears. EX LIBRIS ABC: Farbe, Form und Fantasie / E. Brügel und M. Klant Schroedel Verlag GmbH, Hannover / 1999 Lover’s Eye Portrait Miniatures appeared between the 1790s and 1820s in the courts and affluent households of England, Russia, France and even, quite rarely, America.