While the exact identity of this elegantly dressed woman is unknown, any member of the Pick-Mangiagalli circle would be a fitting subject for society portraitist Ambrogio Antonio Alciati. As with the society portraits of Giovanni Boldini and John Singer Sargent, Alciati's expressive brushwork and rich palette were perfectly suited for those who wanted a 'modern' portrait to demonstrate their fashionable taste and refinement. Here, Alciati perfectly captures the heavy folds of the sitter's costume with its sumptuous aubergine fabric, luxuriously soft velvet gloves and the sparkling pop of white paint detailing the jewel on her finger. Equal attention is paid to the woman's pet, a fine breed, itself a symbol of status with his well-manicured, fluffy fur, pink belly, and detailed expression as carefully described as his owner's.
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