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Birds have long been a source of artistic inspiration.

Rosalba Giovanna Carriera (Venice 1675-Venice 1757)

Self-Portrait as 'Innocence' c.1705-1757

RCIN 420544

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Although today perhaps most widely associated with peace, the dove can also symbolise concepts of purity and virginity. This is how it was used by Venetian rococo artist Rosalba Carriera in this work, which combines the genres of self portraiture and allegory. By depicting herself in a modest white dress, matching the colour of the bird clasped to her, and by giving herself soft, childlike features, she seeks to become the very embodiment of l’Innocenza.