Pastellporträt einer Frau in hellem Kleid mit Blumensträußchen an der Brust
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut

Rosalba Carriera – Perfection in Pastel

On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the birth of Rosalba Carriera (1673-1757), the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) is dedicating a special exhibition to the most famous pastel painter. More than 100 objects will be presented, including around 70 works by the portraitist, who was one of the first female artists to enjoy success throughout Europe.

  • DATES 09/06/2023—24/09/2023


Pastels in Dresden

With 73 pastels, Dresden possesses the world's largest collection of the Venetian artist. Under August III, more than twice as many works by Carriera were in the gallery's holdings and in 1746 a separate pastel cabinet was even set up in the Johanneum near the Frauenkirche and named after her.


Pastel painting was still considered a comparatively young genre at the time. Carriera was instrumental in making this technique a valued form of painting. The many portraits of princes of the ruling dynasties of Europe show how much in demand the artist was. But she also captured literary figures, musicians and dancers from her home city of Venice in pictures; a visit to her was also part of the regular programme of the numerous travellers through Italy. Thus, portraits constitute the largest part of her oeuvre.


Porträt einer Frau mit schwarzem Dreispitz und Perlenschmuck
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Marina Langner/Wolfgang Kreische
Rosalba Carriera, Caterina Sagredo Barbarigo, um 1735/40 Pastell auf Papier 42 x 33 cm


Carriera's pastels bear witness to the beauty ideals of the Rococo period, whose cosmetics were dominated by powder: pale, even skin, powdered hair and wigs. The powdery surfaces of pastel painting reflect this fashion and thus bring us closer to this bygone era. In cooperation with the Theatre Design/Mask Design course at the Dresden University of Fine Arts, students are illustrating the maquillage of the 18th century in a project that will thus be brought to life in the exhibition.

Pastellporträt einer Frau in hellem Kleid mit Blumensträußchen an der Brust
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut
Rosalba Carriera, Eine Dame in blauem Mantel über hellem Kleid Pastell auf Papier, 75,5 x 64 cm


career and exhibition

Carriera's artistic beginnings lay in miniature painting, as she had little competition to fear from male painter colleagues in this field. In 1705, the San Luca Academy of Art in Rome appointed her a member. This high distinction was bestowed on only a few women, especially as academic training was still denied them for a long time. The Accademia Clementina in Bologna also accepted her as a member in 1720, and a year later the Académie Royale in Paris.

The exhibition shows over 100 exhibits and takes the public first to the lagoon city of Venice, with views of the Grand Canal, where Carriera had her residence. In addition to the pastel paintings, there are also typical Venetian handicraft products such as glass, lace and fine cloth to discover.

Slider Ansichten

exhibition “Out of the Shadows. Female artists of the 16th to 18th century”

Complementing the show, a concentrated cabinet exhibition entitled Out of the Shadows. Women Artists from the 16th to the 18th Century focuses on other female artists from the 16th to the 18th century who have so far tended to lead a shadowy existence alongside the big names in art history. Often it was the daughters of famous masters who trained in their father's workshop and were thus able to assert themselves in a professional field that was dominated by men at the time. Works by Lavinia Fontana, Marietta Robusti, gen. La Tintoretta, Theresa Concordia Maron, née Mengs and Angelika Kauffmann are brought into focus.



publication to the exhibition

Rosalba Carriera. Perfektion in Pastell

editor: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Stephan Koja; Roland Enke, 280 pages, publication date 9.6.2023, ISBN 978-3-95498-757-3, price: 44 €

Rosalba Carriera

Sponsors & Partners


Cooperation partners

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions
08/07/2023 —08/10/2023
[Translate to English:]
29/04/2023 —31/10/2023
Ausstellungsobjekte vor grünem Hintergrund

Grünes Gewölbe

in Residenzschloss

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