Coypel Charles-Antoine, Portrait of a Woman with Mask
FCIP 0013.jpg

1,725 - 1,750; pastel on paper
cm. 56 x 47

Inventory: FCIP 0013
Provenance: Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo; Leasindustria (later Intesa Leasing), Milan
Exibition: 2017-2018, Lodi, n. 24; 2018-2019, Mantova, n. 4

Although the history of this pastel prior to its appearance on the antique market is unknown, its provenance from the Galleria Lorenzelli in Bergamo is documented by a label on the back of the work and by an estimate drawn up in Italian lire by Sotheby’s at an unspecified date, but presumably around 1999 since part of Intesa Leasing’s assets were sold to Iniziative Patrimoniali S.p.A. in the same year.

Rosalba Carriera’s hand is evident both in the painting’s stylistic characteristics, which are consistent with those of this Venetian painter’s oeuvre, and in the gracefulness and elegance with which the figures are presented. We may presume that the pastel was executed during the years following the artist’s trip to Paris in 1720, where her direct encounter with French art brought an even greater lightness and elegance to her style. The young woman is represented almost as if she were an allegorical figure, with a charming circlet of flowers holding her hair in place, a pretty ribbon around her neck and a bracelet consisting of a double strand of pearls and clasp set with a precious stone, possibly an aquamarine. Her gauzy white dress allowing a glimpse of her breast is indebted to Classicism and the representation of pagan goddesses. The black domino she is holding in her right hand takes us back to the artist’s own era, in a subtle play of fiction and reality.

Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, fald. Acquisto opere Intesa Leasing


Neil Jeffares, Charles-Antoine Coypel, in Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, introduzione di P. Rosenberg, Londra, 2006, p. 147, ill.; edizione online [], aggiornata il 23 maggio 2017;
Elena Lissoni e Lucia Molino, a cura di, L’animo gentile. Arte e vita da Giovanni Agostino da Lodi a Vincenzo Irolli, catalogo della mostra, Lodi, Palazzo Barni, 24 novembre 2017 - 31 gennaio 2018, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2017, n. 24, pp. 80-81;
Renata Casarin e Lucia Molino, a cura di , Fato e destino. Tra mito e contemporaneità, catalogo della mostra, Mantova, Complesso Museale Palazzo Ducale, Appartamento della Rustica, 8 settembre 2018 - 6 gennaio 2019, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2018, n. 4, pp. 38-39

Elena Lissoni
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