Oil on canvas. German school of the last third of the 18th century.
The imprint of Anna Rosina de Gasc is omnipresent in our portrait: a mid-thigh framing, overexposed skin tones, a stretched neck, and meticulously painted details.
Our sitter obviously belongs to the Prussian nobility, probably to the Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel family who chose Anna Rosina as their court painter. The crowned eagle on the bas-relief in the upper left corner leaves little doubt as to the origin of our princess and the exuberance of the number of pearls adorning her toilet affirms her great wealth.
On the other hand, the French-style dress with its wide neckline, which was later adopted by the Nordic countries, and the hairstyle with rollers topped with a feathered top, allow us to place the work in the 1770s.
If this painting had been executed a century earlier, we would wonder why the painter chose to portray this noble lady holding a basket of grapes and pears in one hand and a bunch of grapes in the other? The pear, symbol of beauty and femininity, is not associated with Venus because of its characteristic shape flared downward, which evokes the female belly? And don't grapes symbolize abundance, the pleasure of the senses?
Provenance: European private collection.
The portrait is presented in its gilded molded wood frame.
Dimensions: 100 x 79,5 cm - 112 x 91 cm with the frame
Anna Rosina de Gasc née Lisiewska (Berlin 1713 - Dresden 1783) came from a family of painters of noble Polish origin. Georg Lisiewski (1674-1751), her father, taught his art to his three children Anna Rosina, Anna Dorothea and Christoph Friedrich. The young Anna Rosina continued her apprenticeship with Antoine Pesne, whom she tended to imitate at first. As she matured, she developed her own style.
In 1757, Prince Frederick Augustus appointed her court painter of the Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst. She stayed at the court for ten years and painted many portraits. Later she moved to the ducal court of Brunswick where she received a generous grant from the Duchess Philippine Charlotte of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
Her works are nowadays kept in the most important museums: Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the National Museum in Warsaw.