Ignaz Stern (1679-1748) Portrait of a Lady


Ignazio Stern, “Portrait of a lady at the toilet”, oil on canvas, 18th century.

Ignazio Stern (or Ignaz Stern and in Italian Ignazio Stella) born in Mauerkirchen in 1679 and died in Rome in 1748 is a naturalized Italian baroque painter, a painter who became a master in the art of painting images of infinite softness.

Student of Carlo Cignani in Bologna, a Bolognese painter based in Forlì, he soon had the opportunity to benefit from the master’s good relations, both with the Roman environment and with that of the Farnese duchy: he moved to Rome for about a decade ( 1702-1712). After his return to Forlì (1713), where he remained until 1724, the artist, probably supported by his former master, independently created his workshop, taking advantage of diligent working relations with the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. Towards the end of 1724, Stern settled permanently in Rome, where he was active until his death (1748).

A painter steeped in Arcadia, who transposes the myth of the master into the living room, with a grace that is both naive and mischievous. Of this enchanted world, of this garden of delights, Stern is the exclusive guardian of the years of his happy maturity. Stern develops a language matured on the highest models of Emilian classicism – from Correggio to Reni, to which he goes back through the example of Cignani – and enriched by the experience of rococo refinements in the painting of Luti, Trevisani and Michele Rocca known as Parmigianino, interpreters in Rome of a stylistic orientation alternative to that of Carlo Maratti and close to French taste. Stern’s own style is the elaboration of soft mixtures in cold and pastel tones, the delicate fusion of lights and colors which determines a cozy atmosphere and the graceful and affected gestures of the figure, with the typical pearly complexion.

All these characteristics are clearly evident in our painting, a canvas with bright, clear colors, soft shapes, languorous gestures and hushed ambiances typical of an ancient rococo.

Our painting was appraised by the art historian and expert in 17th and 18th century Emilian painting, prof. Massimo Pirondini. It is accompanied by the signed expert document. In an 18th century Salvator Rosa frame in gilded wood.

Related work:
Saint Dorothy, Walters Art Museum in Baltimore
Joseph’s Dream (signed and dated 1723), private collection
Virgin with two little angels, Nuremberg Museum
Madeleine and an Angel, formerly London, Crhistie’s auction 11 December 1984

Canvas cm 91 x 71
Frame cm 101 x 81



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