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It was thanks to the art dealer Count Francesco Algarotti, who purchased the picture in Venice in 1745, buying it directly from the artist for the Dresden collection of Augustus III, that the gallery first began to show works by contemporary artists. The pastel medium suited the Rococo taste for lifelike, brilliant portraits and allowed Liotard to create flawless, porcelain-smooth surfaces. The great popularity of the picture, however, also rests on the fact that it depicts a simple, unidentified housemaid, a hitherto rare motif. The clear-eyed precision of Liotard’s observation anticipated not only the art of the Enlightenment but also nineteenth-century Realism.