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A Young Lady with a Parrot

A pastel drawing of woman in blue and pink dress with blue parrot.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A pastel drawing of woman in blue and pink dress with blue parrot.


c. 1730


Rosalba Carriera
Italian, 1673-1757

About this artwork

Rosalba Carriera is renowned for the distinction she brought to pastel portraiture in Italy and France during the first half of the eighteenth century. No female artist enjoyed greater success or exerted more influence on the art of her era than Rosalba, as she is known. The artist’s work in pastel divides itself into two categories: portraits and allegories. A shrewd judge of character, she enhanced but never obscured the actual appearance of the sitters in her portraits. In contrast, her allegorical types are often so generalized that they can seem repetitive, bland, and undistinguished. A Young Lady with a Parrot is an intriguing combination of both genres. The colorful parrot is a witty conceit that subtly transfers the provocative gesture of baring one’s breast from the young woman to a mischievous bird, whose beak pulls back the gauzy fabric that edges the sitter’s bodice. With its rich colorism and vaporous effects, A Young Lady with a Parrot is a mature work, exhibiting the assurance of Rosalba’s finest and most famous portraits. The pastel may depict a young Englishwoman, perhaps one of the daughters of Lord Manchester. Whoever the model, this image’s aura of grace and seduction was to characterize the arts of much of the century, marking Rosalba as one of the originators of the Rococo style in Italy and France.


On View, Gallery 216


Prints and Drawings


Rosalba Carriera


A Young Lady with a Parrot


Venice (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Pastel on blue laid paper, mounted on laminated paper board


60 × 50 cm (23 5/8 × 19 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

The Regenstein Collection

Reference Number


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