Rosalba Giovanna Carriera (1675-1757)
Portrait of Robert, Baron Walpole
Watercolour on ivory
Inscribed on the wooden backboard by the sitter's brother, Horace Walpole, 'Robert, Lord Walpole / Eldest Son to Sir Robert Walpole / Earl of Orford / Drawn by Rosalba / at Venice / H.W.
Museum no. P.160-1910
The renowned Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera started out decorating ivory snuffboxes. Around 1700 she perfected a new method of painting miniatures on ivory. She used similar techniques to working on vellum, but painted the facial features onto bare ivory rather than onto flesh-coloured paint.