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A spotlight on outstanding women artists and their works in the Royal Collection

Rosalba Giovanna Carriera (Venice 1673-Venice 1757)

A Self-Portrait c. 1745

RCIN 452375

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In this self-portrait, drawn around 12 years before her death, Rosalba Carriera conveys her status, success and skill through the accomplished depiction of the luxurious materials she wears, including lace and fur.

This miniature is a copy by Rosalba Carriera of her diploma piece entitled L'Innocenza (Innocence) which she submitted in 1705 for her admission to the Accademia di San Luca (Academy of Saint Luke) in Rome, founded in 1577 as an association of artists wit

Self-Portrait as 'Innocence' ©

Much of Carriera’s success can be attributed to the astute strategies she employed to fashion her own image and reputation. The miniature shown here, titled L’Innocenza (‘Innocence’), is another self-portrait and a copy of her diploma piece for the Accademia San Luca in Rome, which would have been assessed by male academicians. The thirty-two-year-old artist appears to be presenting herself here as modest and – significantly – unthreatening. Though she primarily worked in pastels, a medium viewed as academically less important than oils, at her death Carriera had cultivated an international clientèle and European fame as a portraitist, and left an estate that significantly outweighed those of her male Venetian peers.