Ignatius Stern (1679-1748)
Woman in the toilet
Oil on Canvas, cm 91 x 71
Frame cm 108 x 88
Between portrait, allegory and genre scene, this is the subject of this painting which sees a resolute young woman in the morning toilet, her face tilted and her gaze fixed on the mirror, while with her left hand she passes a white cloth on his chest; white are also the laces of the shirt that can be seen under the wide golden dressing gown with sleeves adorned with blue ribbons. In front of her, on the table, an open box, probably for face powder or rouge, a jar, a comb, a ring and a locket with a male image.
It is possible to trace the authorship of this refined and singular work with convincing relevance thanks to its specific stylistic and pictorial matrix, here explained with particularities typical of the repertoire of Ignatius Stern, one of the most evident masters of Italian Rococo. .
Born in Mauerkirken, Austria, in 1679, Stern arrived in Italy around 1695 to train in the crowded school of Carlo Cignani, a Bolognese painter who had lived in Forlì for about two decades, to attend the frescoes on the dome of this cathedral. He soon had the opportunity to take advantage of the master’s good relations, both with the Roman environment and with that of the Duchy of Farnese; Stern stayed in 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, set up his studio independently, taking advantage of assiduous 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).
Returning to the painting in question, its expressive grace and its explanatory gentleness bring us back to the particular connotations of Ignatius Stern, to his way of grafting, on a somewhat rigid and initial formation coming from beyond the Alps, ancient Emilian experiences (Correggio, Barocci) and contemporary (Cignani, Pasinelli, Dal Sole).
A canvas with dazzling, clear colors, soft shapes, languorous gestures and the hushed atmospheres typical of an old rococo.
Saint Dorothea, Walters Art Museum in Baltimore
Le rêve de Joseph (signed and dated 1723), private collection
Virgin with two little angels, Nuremberg Museum
Madeleine and an Angel, formerly London, Cristie’s auction 11 December 1984
The painting was appraised by the art historian and expert in 17th century painting, prof. Pirondini. It is accompanied by a signed expert report..