Ritratto d’uomo (c.1710)

Carriera, Rosalba (1675-1757)

Ritratto d’uomo (Portrait of a Man)
Ivory, 76 x 59 mm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

Carriera was known throughout Europe for her pastel portraits, but she also pioneered the use of ivory as a support for portrait miniatures. This use of ivory would soon become ubiquitous among miniaturists. In this example, Carriera brilliantly uses the white ground for the skin tone, upon which she stippled the paint (the tiny dots that adhered best to ivory) and applied washes for the armor, which is then blued, a process where a protective finish is given to metals that results in a distinctive, blue-black finish. (MET)