A miniature painting refers to paintings that are not small (while they often times are a smaller scale), but to the type of pigment used that is derived from the Latin word, minium, or red lead. This type of painting is used to decorate illuminated manuscripts which are handmade books that are characterized by the inclusion of decorative elements like miniature paintings, decorated borders, and initials. Miniature paintings were mostly in production during the medieval period but have been traced as early as the third century CE. The style and aesthetic qualities of miniatures vary across geographical regions as well as time periods. By examining the different types of miniature paintings in UMMA's collection this becomes quite evident. The association with text can vary, sometimes the text is highlighted with smaller decorations framing the text or falling beneath the text. In other instances, the text is subordinate to large-scale images that can even take up an entire page. In these instances, the paintings are used to provide a visual interpretation of the text. The variation of stylistic qualities that are found across cultures provides a rich area of study that reveals insight into different moments of history at large.