A Young Woman in a Russian Hat Holding a Book, by Pietro

A Young Woman in a Russian Hat Holding a Book, by Pietro

7/6/2021, 8:47:09 PM
A Young Woman in a Russian Hat Holding a Book, by Pietro Antonio Rotari.⁠ 🎨 An evocative canvas that is undoubtedly a minor work in the contemporary scheme of things at the time, since its subject is not royal, and probably not even an important person. This girl’s effigie is filled with emotion, of the coyness and timidity of private pleasure. The technology of printing in Europe was already three centuries old when this was painted, so the novelty of books as something ingenious and perhaps forbidden had worn off somewhat, though the novel of the billet-doux was just coming into vogue. Whatever we may think of her character, it is clear that she is using the book as a foil, either to conceal her expression, or as a prop to illustrate her attention on the viewer. In the narrative of event which paintings like this inspire, we are encouraged to invent a relationship with an invisible, unnamed and silent other, presumably a man. Who knows?⁠ 🧑‍🎨 Pietro Antonio Rotari (Italian 1707-1762) was a court painter in Italy, Austria and Russia. Born in Verona, he led a peripatetic career, and died in Saint Petersburg, where he had traveled to paint for the Russian court. His portraits, mostly of women, are renowned for being beautiful and realistic. Rotari's works were generally limited to royal portraits held by notables such as emperors and court ladies. He was much in demand as a portraitist, and painted royal families in Dresden and Saint Petersburg, as well as many religious paintings. The intellectual vibe that he brings to his portraits is very much admired.⁠ 📐 Height: 44 cm (17.4 in). Width: 35.3 cm (13.9 in). Oil on canvas.⁠ 🏛 Private collection.⁠ What do you think about this? ⁠ Share and follow @monteroneart for a daily 🎨!

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