About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, July 30, 2011

there's a dog in this portrait. really

thanks again wikimedia commons

This is Anastasia Ivanovna, Countess of Hesse-Homburg, Princess Trubetskaya, and she needs to stop posing and pick up her dog. Do you see it? It's a tiny brown mop down by her feet. Maybe it's a fluffy chihuahua (there apparently were a few to be found in Europe then). What else would be that miniscule and furry?

Alexander Roslin (Swiss, 1718 - 1793) a painter of highly formal aristocratic portraits, executed this in 1757. Which I feel neatly solves the question of why he didn't have her cuddle the dog: She died in 1755. It's a posthumous portrait. There must have been miniatures or sketches of her somewhere for reference, but what a job. No wonder there's so much attention paid to the dress.

Why didn't anyone get around to painting her earlier, I wonder? She was the second wife of the Prince of Moldavia, Dimitrie Cantemir, though not for very long - he died in 1723. Her brother Ivan Betskoy was Catherine II's national education advisor. Not much else at all is known about her.

1 comment:

parlance said...

how interesting! A posthumous portrait! I'll bet the artiest was trying his best to get it right for the client!