1718 - 1793
Portrait of a Lady with her Hair Adorned with Flowers

Oil on canvas
Image size: 21 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches (55 x 45 cm)
Original gilt frame
£8,000

 

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In this portrait this young woman is depicted facing forward with her head slightly raised and turned left towards the viewer. She is dressed in a blue satin dress. The low-cut drapery, exposing her décolletage, was not unusual for the time as 18th century women would often wear their dresses off-the-shoulder or fitted with a very open neckline.

Her perfectly oval face is enlivened by wide brown eyes, full cheeks and a mouth that sketches a half smile. Her cheeks rose with blush, which was a popular cosmetic style during the Rococo period and contrasts with her ivory skin and powdered hair. Her tied hair is studded with many flowers and the ribbon around the woman’s throat accentuates her bare neck.

 

Alexander Roslin

Alexander Roslin was one of the most important portrait painters of Europe in the 18th century. He was born in Malmö in Sweden but soon moved into Europe to paint at various royal courts. From 1750 on he worked mainly in Paris. Here he was destined to achieve great success. He had collected letters of recommendation on his journey through Europe, including that of the Duchess of Parma, the sister-in-law of Louis XV.

Soon he was admitted to the court and the Royal Academy in Paris and when he married in 1759 he was the most wanted artist in Paris for portraits. He was married to the miniature painter Marie Suzanne Giroust. Although he painted mainly French nobility and royalty, he returned to Sweden for a short period of time where he painted the royal family there. On the way back to Paris he stayed for two years in St Petersburg where he painted Catharina and several Russian aristocrats. He died in Paris in 1793.