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Antique Portrait Miniature, Lady Holding a Fan, Fran. Bartolozzi
Quote from Answers d com: "(Francesco BARTOLOZZI b Florence, 1727; d Lisbon, 7 March 1815). Printmaker, draughtsman and painter, active also in England. He was the son of Gaetano Bartolozzi, a goldsmith, with whom he trained before entering the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. There he studied under Giovanni Domenico Ferretti and Ignazio Hugford. He also extended his knowledge of the Antique with a short trip to Rome. He is said to have become an adept painter of miniatures, watercolours and pastels, and an accomplished draughtsman; but he soon concentrated on engraving. Works identified as from his Florentine period include the series of plates after Domenichino's frescoes in the abbey of Grottaferrata and those of religious paintings by Anton Domenico Gabbiani."
The notation on backing of this beautiful little painting IDs the sitter and mentions 'von Francesco Bartolozzi' (after or from Francesco Bartolozzi), but I can't find reference to the original painting. Primarily known as a print-maker, Bartolozzi did do miniatures in his early career. The portrait here may well be after one of his early paintings, since the costume is accurate for the period in which Bartolozzi lived and worked, a time of Marie-Antoinette and the Louis Kings. If anyone recognizes the original (note the pencil notation of name, which is a bit difficult to read, but a kind customer passes along this information for us, and we'll hope it's accurate, lacking other confirmation: "Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen. Favorite daughter of Maria Teresa of Austria, and sister of Marie Antoinette". Another writes: "Maria Christina (Marie Christine) Johanna Josepha Antonia of Habsburg-Lothringen (* 13. may 1742 a vienna; ? 24. june 1798 in vienna) she was arcducess of austria and, because of marriage, also duchess of Sachsen-Teschen. the german words on the backside "statthalterin der niederlande" are meaning something like proconsul of the neatherlands." so we think this is accurately identified. Another customer confirms: "This is a copy of the Alexander Roslin painting of Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria. She was an elder sister of Queen Marie-Antoinette, and second eldest daughter and was cordially loathed by her siblings as she 'told tales' about them to their mother, Empress Maria-Theresia. She alone was permitted to marry for love to Prince Albert of Saxe-Teschen. In the original painting her dress is of deep mauve silk satin." Thanks for all the help out there!
It's a slightly stylized painting, but interesting and lovely. A demure 3/4 pose, the gown and hat seem to overtake the sitter as subject. A lovely old frame houses her, and we think this is painted on celluloid, so mid-1800s is our date for her. If celluloid, it is from the era when this very newly invented substance was extremely valuable and was being used experimentally for early portrait miniatures as substitute for the usual natural wafers.
Very good to excellent condition througout. The frame is fine, but has only a wire inset for hanging so either requires a small easel stand or of course can use the wire as shown. No chips, breaks, losses or flaws to the wafer. A lovely old gilt bronze frame, c. 1840-70
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