Rosalba Carriera


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(b Venice, 7 Oct. 1673; d Venice, 15 Apr. 1757).

Venetian pastel portraitist, the sister-in-law of Pellegrini. She had a European reputation and made triumphant visits to Paris (1720–1) and Vienna (1730). Her success helped to popularize pastel: Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, for example, was converted to the medium through his admiration for her. It is now hard to appreciate why her work, which is highly accomplished but generally rather insipid, should have aroused such enthusiasm. After becoming blind in 1746, she had her sight temporarily restored by an operation, but lost it permanently in 1749 and retired into a state of melancholy dejection.

Subjects: Art.

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