Portrait of a Lady with a Mask in Hand - Carriera Rosalba

Carriera Rosalba (1675 - 1757)

Portrait of a Lady with a Mask in Hand

Pastel on cardboard, 48,5 x 38 cm

Inv. Number Π.2981
On view Main Building

This charming portrait is a characteristic example of the painter’s work, especially popular during the era she lived in, when it became the fashion and was eagerly sought by European Courts and aristocratic circles. These attractive portraits are today viewed by some with a fair amount of irony because of their flimsy manner and superficial content, but they also mirrors, to a degree, the spirit of her time and they also constitute an original and purely Venetian form of creation.

Contrary to most of her predecessors and contemporaries, who were not specialized portrait painters, Carriera did specialize in this kind of work, one she was notably successful at. The beautiful woman depicted in this painting, with her ethereal charm and expressive glance, holding a mask in her hands, powerfully brings to mind the feel of the atmosphere of Venice and its inhabitants’ love of festivals, highlighted by their unique Carnival.