A Lady styled as Cleopatra
A Lady styled as Cleopatra
A Lady styled as Cleopatra
A Lady styled as Cleopatra


A Lady styled as Cleopatra

c. 1700 Italy

Offered by Ellison Fine Art


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Seated before a table set with a basket of flowers, resting her hand on her chin, pillar and curtain background
painted on a thick piece of ivory.

Carriera was a Venetian Rococo painter. In her younger years, she specialized in portrait miniatures. It is for this that she was able to establish a career in portraiture. Carriera would later become known for her pastel work, a medium appealing to Rococo styles for its soft edges and flattering surfaces. She is remembered as one of the most successful women artists of any era.

Her family was from the lower-middle-class in Venice, and as a child, she began her artistic career by making lace-patterns for her mother, who was engaged in that trade. However, when interests in lace waned and the industry began to falter, Carriera had to find a new means of providing for herself and her family.

The popularity of snuff-taking gave her an opportunity to do just that. Carriera began painting miniatures for the lids of snuff-boxes, and was the first painter to use ivory instead of vellum for this purpose. Gradually, this work evolved into portrait-painting, for which she pioneered the exclusive use of pastel. Prominent foreign visitors to Venice, young sons of the nobility on the grand tour and diplomats for example, clamored to be painted by her.
Paint loss to sitter's blue robe, white shift on sitter's right shoulder and paint to the right hand border at 4 o'clock.
Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures (Dublin, privately published, 2009), pp 7, 25 (# 65) 67 (sitter #20)
Height 9.50 cm (3.74 inches)
Stock Code
watercolour on ivory
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
United Kingdom

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