“Portrait of a young lady”, dutch school, early 19th century

Portrait of a young woman of early 19th century in the taste of the 17th century, oil on panel, inscription in Latin «aetatis 19»: at the age of 19, wooden frame patinated in the taste of Dutch frames of the seventeenth century. The young woman is richly dressed in a headdress and a strawberry in fine lace, a necklace and on the dress a heavy gold chain. On the top left the arms of the Damiani family of Vergada ennobled on October 19, 1821 in the kingdom of Dalmatia belonging to the Austrian Empire at that date. Dalmatia being an ancient possession of the Republic of Venice (independent for 1100 years) and whose fall occurred following the political upheavals linked to the French Revolution and the revolutionary wars triggered by the entry into war of Austria of the Habsburgs on April 20, 1792.  Venice and its territories annexed by the Austrian Empire in 1797, ceded to Napoleon’s France in 1806 and reconquered by the Austrian Empire of the Habsburgs in 1813-1814.

The Damiani family of Vergada could have existed before being ennobled. The choice of the style of the portrait speaks of the political and ideological convictions of the family. The style corresponds to the golden age of Dutch painting as well as to the golden age of the young Dutch republic, which emerged from the Thirty Years Wars and was freed from the Spanish yoke of the Habsburgs. The date of 1635 would correspond in the historical context probably to the crucial date of the Thirty Years’ War at the entry of France into the war which overthrew the forces and led to the victory against the Habsburgs. Moreover in this conflict the republic of Venice was on the side of Holland.

In our portrait we can see historical parallels and a nostalgia for the golden age of the republic and the family.

Dutch school

Early 19th century in the taste of the 17th century

Height: 92 cm

Width: 73 cm

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