Miniature painting is a unique art form, tracing its roots back to the book paintings and illuminated manuscripts of the 7th century. They are paintings in minute scale, reflecting detail that can be magnified and still hold together as fine works of art. In the Middle Ages, monks embellished manuscript pages with borders and finely detailed illuminations. Through the centuries, miniature painting also became popular outside the book and manuscript as a separate, more personalized form of art. Much like a small photograph, these tiny portrait paintings were easily carried in a pocket or locket. Miniature painting has been practiced for centuries and continues to evolve as technology advances, taste changes and subject matter expands. Miniature art societies in the United States, the U.K. and several other parts of the world keep this painting tradition alive through education, exhibitions and scholarships.