The Italian painter Rosalba Carriera was born on October 7, 1675 in Venice. At fourteen years old under the tutelage of Giuseppe Diamantini, she began drawing and copying oil paintings. Her first successes were achieved with her miniature likenesses in tempera on ivory. After 1700, one also finds the first use of pastels in her works.
It is extremely difficult to order Carriera's works chronologically, because only a few works were dated. It is also impossible to identify some of the personages depicted in her paintings. However, she did develop within her career from general representative likenesses to a more psychological portrait of the soul.
The international appreciation of Carriera's work began in Germany when she was invited to the court in Düsseldorf in 1706. Already two years later, the high nobility of Europe were finding their own way to her studio in Venice. In 1719, Antoine Watteau personally asked her to paint his portrait. In 1720, Carriera was named an honorary member of the academies in Bologna and Paris. The works of such portrait artists as La Tour, Perroneau, Liotard, and Meng could not have come about without the works of Carriera.
With her eyesight worsening after 1746, she became completely blind in 1751. Deep in melancholy, she died on April 15, 1757 in Venice.
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