The term miniature is based on the Medieval miniatura = "picture painted with cinnabar" and the use of the minium = red lead paint or cinnabar. The German word Mennige comes from the Arabian Men neki = "red dust" as a colorant for the adornment of initials and graphic elements in written works from the Middle Ages. The Latin minor = "smaller" has also influenced the forming of the concept so that from that time on miniatures were understood both as small-sized pictures (especially painting, the so-called miniature painting), as well as illustrations in old manuscripts or the frequent medallion-shaped depictions on articles of daily use and decorative objects.
One of the best-known representatives of miniature painting in the German-language region is considered to be August Grahl (1791-1868). The connecting element in the various meanings of the term is the smaller scale of depiction. In colloquial terms, the word is also used in the sense of miniature models.