Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Noblewoman, wearing pink figured dress and blue cloak, jewels in her powdered hair c. 1720

 Italian School 

Portrait miniature of a Noblewoman, wearing pink figured dress and blue cloak, jewels in her powdered hair,  Italian School
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Oil on metal
18th Century
Oval, 78mm (3 ins.) high
 
Later silver gilt frame with scroll top.

This portrait of a noblewoman is painted very much in the manner of Antonio David (1698-1750), who was working at the exiled court of James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766) in Rome. The lady portrayed here is possibly the wife of a Jacobite supporter, a visitor to the royal court or a lady in waiting to James’ wife, Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702–1734). The lady in the present portrait wears an almost identical half-moon jewel in her hair as seen in a portrait of the princess by Antonio David (now known through an engraving by Pierre-Imbert Drevet (1697-1739). The expensive clothing and jewels worn by the sitter suggest a woman of great wealth and high rank.

The Venetian artist Antonio David worked in oil on canvas and metal as the official painter of the exiled Jacobite court. His most celebrated portraits are those of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Prince Henry (1729) for which the artist was, unusually, paid in advance.

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