Young Woman Writing a Letter

Pietro Antonio Rotari (Italian, 1707-1762)
c. 1755-60
Oil on canvas 
33-1/2 x 27-1/8 in. (85 x 68.9 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Pietro Rotari exemplified the type of highly successful, itinerant artist of the eighteenth century who traveled to wealthy patrons. He created many genre portraits, including images of pretty young girls smiling, frowning, dozing and casting coquettish glances.

Rotari's cool palette, smooth brushwork and graceful reserve made him one of the most pleasing artists of the eighteenth century. Viewing this young woman writing a love letter from close up, we are invited to experience the cozy sensation of her daydream, which is presumably about her paramour.


[Dr. Fritz Haussmann, Berlin, sold 31 October 1941 to];
[Schaeffer Galleries, New York, stock no. 638, sold 26 January 1942 to];
[Frederick (Fritz) A. Stern, Cosmos Art, Inc., New York, still in 1944];
Willem Kleinberg, New York, by 1945 (sale, New York, Sotheby's, 12 January 1979, lot 134, ill., as Portrait of a Young Girl Drawing, to);
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York; stock no. 6512-2802, offered 22 February 1979 and subsequently sold 15 March 1979 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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