Bring Bonnie Prince Charlie back

29/10/2021

Our exhibition will feature the newly discovered Rosalba Carriera portrait of the Prince painted in Venice in 1737. Carriera was born in Venice into a modest family and most likely self-taught. She became internationally celebrated as a pastel portraitist, often painting visitors to Venice. She is one of the most successful female artists of any era and is renowned for her portraiture, particularly her pastel work. The National Gallery, London say that "her mastery of the pastel medium helped transform it into a serious and highly-admired art form".

The artwork is pastel on blue paper, and shows the Prince wearing the Order of the Garter. The Prince was 16 years old when it was painted and it is believed to be the only portrait of him pre-dating the 1745 uprising which was not painted in Rome. Carriera painted the Prince in 1737 while he was in Venice on a tour. The painting is particularly important as it is the first to be commissioned independently of the Prince's father. Prior to this painting, James VIII / III of England (or the Old Pretender to the Hanoverians), had overseen all images of the Prince that were painted and distributed.

This portrait was sent to James in Rome who at some point gifted it to one of his friends and supporters. It remained in a private collection unknown to the general public until it was auctioned in 2018. It was acquired by the Pininski Foundation and exhibited briefly at National Museums Scotland in 2019. Unless this crowdfunding campaign is successful, this iconic portrait and others in this collection may never be displayed in the UK again. Help us to share these iconic portraits with the public.

Rosalba Carriera self portrait (Wikipedia)
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