Easily portable and often personalised with locks of hair, miniature portraits were very popular in the nineteenth century. They were created to celebrate love, the arrival of a new spouse or child, and as memorials to departed family members.
Governor Macquarie commissioned many miniature portraits. They includes likenesses of himself, his two wives and his beloved son, Lachlan. He often gave sets of these miniatures to his friends and supporters.
The State Library has an significant collection of European and Australian miniature portraits. Together, they reflect the patterns of migration to Australia during the early 19th century.