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February 17, 2014

Title Portrait of a Lady, Detail

Artist: Anonymous (Italy)

Description: This unidentified, fashionably dressed lady wishes to be represented, above all, as a student of ancient culture. On the table next to a sheet of music is a cabinet with casts of ancient carved gems, which were often collected along with-or instead of-the actual gems; for the serious student, even one such as the sitter who is armed with a magnifying glass, casts bring out details that hard to see in the original carving. Also, they could be duplicated as a set for those with scholarly interests but without the means to acquire the originals. In addition, the lady wears a portrait miniature of a gentleman (her deceased husband, father, or teacher?). The portrait is painted in the new neoclassical style, which emphasizes clearly delineated forms.

Date: between circa 1780 and circa 1789

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