Friday, October 20, 2023

Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del 700 Veneziano - Rosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory

Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del 700 Veneziano 
Rosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory

At Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento VenezianoRosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory - curated by the museum's director Alberto Craievich - until January 9.  Rosalba Carriera - 1673-1757 - was the most celebrated female Italian artist in 18th-Century Europe, everyone from English lords to princes of the Empire agreed on the excellence of her portraits.   It is to the miniaturist that this retrospective is dedicated, with thirty six works on display, together with pastels from the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and from private collections. The exhibition offers a very rare opportunity to admire these works of extraordinarily delicate refinement, now classic examples of Rococo Art, in the year that marks the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s birth.
Pittore Veneto del XII Secolo - Venere Adagiata che porge una freccia a Cupido  snuff box lid

Photo courtesy - Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

In addition to devoting herself to pastel portraiture, Rosalba Carriera was an outstanding painter of miniatures on ivory; in fact she pioneered this genre, elevating it from a craft to a true art. Using an innovative technique, she succeeded for the first time in bringing the fluid, vibrant brushstrokes of painting on canvas to tiny ivory supports. Her success was immediate. There was no visitor to Venice who did not aspire to have a miniature portrait made by Rosalba. Today, however, these small images are rare, in fact their number is much smaller than her pastel work.
Rosalba Carriera - Venus with young love

In the second half of the Seventeenth Century, the production of ivory snuff boxes developed in Venice, and with reason: the city had for Centuries been one of the entry points in Europe for the supply of this material.  These objects were at first rather simple: they were merely small boxes. It was on the outer part of the latter that the finest decorative work was concentrated.  The interior of the snuff box might be smooth, or decorated with rather naive scenes, often of an erotic nature, by minor painters. Rosalba Carriera’s debut as an artist was precisely in this field: the leap in quality undertaken by the artist cannot fail to amaze us even today.
Pittore del XVII Secolo (Jean Steve ?) - Fauna e Ninfa - snuff box

Curator - Alberto Craevich

Rosabla Carriera - Portrait of Edward Warpole and Henry Hyde Cornbury

The English travellers who spent some time in Venice during their Grand Tour of Italy were Rosalba’s most faithful clients. Sophisticated young people with unconventional tastes, they sought out these small images that could be enclosed in one hand or kept in a pocket, and which were intended to evoke nostalgia for places they had visited in their youth and which in most cases they would never see again and to recall the special occasion.
Rosalba Carriera - Portrait of William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine

Rosalba Carriera - Couple during Carnival 
lady with fan and man with mask and tricorne

Rosalba Carriera - Young lady with a rose in her lap - snuff box lid

Rosalba Carriera - Baccanale

Rosalba Carriera - Delivery of the letter 
on letter "My Dear "

Rosalba Carriera - Venus in the mirror


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