Rosalba Carriera

1673 – 1757

A Portrait of Benedetta d’Este


Gouache on Card




8.2(h) x 6.4(w) cms



Rosalba Carriera began her career specialising in portrait miniatures, often of beautiful young women, in a distinctly Venetian style. Later in her life she worked in pastel and became enormously successful and one of the most popular female artists of the 18th century. Carriera spent much of her working life in Paris and Vienna creating portraits for the aristocracy in these cities.

Princess Benedetta d'Este (1697 – 1777) was the first child of Duke Rinaldo d'Este and Duchess Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She was highly educated in the courts of Italy. She spoke multiple languages and loved art and music.

Benedetta met James Stewart, the Jacobite claimant to the throne of England, in Modena in 1717. They fell in love, but sadly Benedetta's father would not allow the courtship to continue as he wished to maintain good relations with George I and the Hanover dynasty in Britain. Heartbroken, Benedetta never married and died in Modena at the age of 80.

In our portrait miniature Benedetta is covered in garlands of flowers and may be representing an allegory of spring.