I thought about this yesterday when listening to one of the New Yorker's splendid fiction podcasts. The story I heard yesterday was by Steven Millhauser. It was called In the reign of Harad IV and it tells the story of a 'master of miniatures'.
I cannot recommend the recording highly enough, including the discussion afterwards between the New Yorker's fiction editor and Cynthia Ozick, who selected and read the story for the podcast; if you are not a fan of listening, of course, (like my husband whose music report in primary school one year read, 'Prefers singing to listening'), you can find the text here instead. I thought it was one of the most intriguing stories I'd ever come across.