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Oil painting - A Lady Seen in Full Face
  • A Lady Seen in Full Face
    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730
  • Enlarge image

A Lady Seen in Full Face

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    ca. 1700-ca. 1710 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from the funds of Captain H. B. Murray's bequest.

  • Museum number:

    P.78-1938

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 2, The Wolfson Gallery, case WN

This drawing is a sketch study showing a Venetian lady wearing a full black skirt, white bodice with pink detailing and a black hooded mantle over her head, holds a fan in front of her face and a mask in her other hand. This work was originally part of a dismembered album of fifty-three sketches that would ultimately form part of a Venetian veduta or prospect painting, a genre Carlevarijs is generally credited with establishing in the 18th century. His oeuvre probably influenced view paintings later made popular by Canaletto (1697-1768) and Francesco Guardi (1712-1793).

Physical description

A lady, wearing a full black skirt, white bodice with pink detailing and a black hooded mantle over her head, holds a fan in front of her face and a mask in her other hand. This work is part of an album of fifty-three sketches by Carlevarijs which includes figures and objects he appears to have painted in the open air in preparation for insertion into formal compositions.

Date

ca. 1700-ca. 1710 (painted)

Artist/maker

Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 18.4 cm estimate, Width: 7.2 cm estimate

Object history note

Purchased, 1938

Historical context note

This is one of Carlevarijs' studies known as ‘macchiette’, originally part of an album of fifty-three sketches which includes figures Carlevarijs appears to have painted in open air. Carlevarijs first drew the figures on paper, copying them from people he saw in the streets and then transformed them into lively oil sketches, such as this one, which represent a crucial part of his artistic process.

Here a lady faces out, holding a closed fan up to her right cheek and a mask in her left hand. Fans and masks were usually as a form of secret language which was of great help in carrying out love affairs without knowledge of the lady's chaperone.

The figure wears a full black skirt, white bodice with pink detailing and a black hooded mantle over her head, holds a fan in front of her face and a mask in her other hand.

Studies such as these would ultimately form part of a Venetian veduta or prospect painting, which is a genre Carlevarijs is generally credited with establishing in the 18th century. This figure reappears for example in the centre foreground of The Piazza San Marco (Private Collection, repr. Beddington, pl.8).

Carlevarijs' sketches reveal a particular attention to costume, highlighting Venetian style of dress which was highly regarded in fashionable circles throughout Europe from the 16th through the 18th centuries. During the 18th century Venice became renowned for its carnival season and many figures in the view paintings by Carlevarijs can be seen in with accessories or costume, such as the men's domino, which was worn during these festivities.

The figures and objects appear frequently and virtually without variations in his paintings between 1707 and 1726 and are closely related to his etchings of 1703 in Le fabriche e vedute di Venetia. Composed of 104 views of Venice, the etchings formed the most complete survey of the fabric of the city ever produced and served as a model for Venetian view painters throughout the 18th century.

Carlevarijs' sketches also demonstrate his great influence on Canaletto, whose figures and their arrangement often show a marked debt to the older Master such as in Venice: The Feast Day of Saint Roch, ca. 1735 (National Gallery, London, NG937).

Descriptive line

Oil Painting, 'A Lady Seen in Full Face', Luca Carlevarijs, late 17th-early 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 56-63, cat. no. 60 (P.26-1938 - P.78-1938)
John Pope-Hennessy, 'A Group of Studies by Luca Carlevarijs', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 73, No. 426 (Sep., 1938), pp. 126-131.
Anon., 'Early Venetian Costume Studies' in Listener,22 September 1938, p. 613.
F. Mauroner, Luca Carlevarijs,2nd ed., 1945, p. 24, figs. 32 (P.57), 33 (P.55), 34 (P.69)
M. Levey, Painting in XVIII century Venice, 1959, p. 79.
W. G. Constable, Canaletto,i, 1962, pp. 70, 73 f., pl. 9 a (P.69) and b (P.55)
A. Rizzi, Disegni, incisioni e bozzetti del Carlevarijs, Exh. Cat. Udine, 1964, pp. 53-7, figs. 113-20.
The Glory of Venice : art in the eighteenth century. Jane Martineau and Andrew Robison (eds.), Exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, September 15 - December 14, 1994 and at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., January 29 - April 23, 1995. pp. 93-97, 443-444, no. 21.
Life in XVIII century Venice, Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, 1966.
A. Rizzi, Luca Carlevarijs,1967, p. 97 f., figs. 1-53 (Bozzetti).
Isabella Reale and Dario Succi, Luca Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento Exh. Cat., Milano : Electa, c1994.
Venice, 1700-1800: an exhibition of Venice and the eighteenth century (The Detroit Institute of Arts [and] John Herron Art Museum), 1952, pp. 9-12, 23-26.
Luca Carlevarijs, Le fabriche e vedute di Venetia Exh. Cat., Venezia : Marsilio, 1995-1996.
Charles Beddington, Luca Carlevarijs : views of Venice Exh. Cat. (San Diego, Calif.: Timken Museum of Art, c. 2001), p. 19, fig. 17.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1938, London: Board of Education, 1939.

Labels and date

Studies of a Venetian Woman
About 1700–10

These sketches show a woman holding a fan and mask in a variety of poses. In some she gestures with her fan, possibly to communicate with her admirers or companions. Carlevarijs used rapidly painted oil sketches like this to develop the figures in his large-scale views of Venice. He depicted men and women of all classes and in a range of different activities.

Italy (Venice)
By Luca Carlevarijs
Oil on canvas
Purchased with funds from the Captain H.B. Murray Bequest
Museum nos. P.74, 76 to 78-1938 [09/12/2015]

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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