Black chalk, sanguine, white chalk,
H. 12.5 cm (15 cm with mount)
L. 9.5 cm (11.8 cm with mount)
GIRL WITH A BASKET OF FLOWERS
Rosalba Carriera studied in Venice with a French miniaturist, then an English pastellist. She devoted herself to pastel portraits early on, and rapidly rose to international fame. This was consolidated by journeys to Paris in 1720 (where she was admitted to the French Academy), Modena in 1723 and Vienna in 1730, where she taught pastels to the Empress and executed portraits of the imperial children. As well as portraits in pastel, she also painted miniatures on ivory. The catalogue of her works drawn up by Bernardina Sani in 1988 lists two (one, no. 72, fig. 58 is now in the Hermitage at Saint Petersburg; the other, no. 74, fig. 59, is not located), oval like the drawing here (but smaller), and repeating much of its composition – with the notable exception of the snake, absent in this drawing, which transforms the character into Cleopatra.