2023 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Rosalba Carriera, the most famous pastel painter of the 18th century. Dresden surpasses even Venice, the artist’s hometown, as the place where visitors can best admire her work. For it was here, in the Gemäldegalerie that opened in 1746, that a total of 157 of her pastels went on display in what was known as the “Cabinet of Rosalba.” This book traces the history of this unique collection and presents the 73 pastels remaining in Dresden today – still the world’s largest collection of her art.
Carriera’s artistic career began with lace-making, for which Venice was famous. However, she soon turned to miniature painting and, finally, to painting with pastels. She created allegories, portrayed friends and artists, but also the European nobility of her time. In doing so, she created a visual vernacular that gave expression to the social type of the lively and self-confident woman – a type she no less embodied. By devoting herself to art and pursuing an enviable career as an independent artist, she serves as an early role model for feminist artists.