This work was probably created for the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna of Russia as an elegant fancy picture and it has been suggested that the model was one of the artist's daughters.
Young Woman with a Macaw by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, c. 1760
© Ashmolean Museum
- Oil on canvas
- 70 x 52 cm
- Acquired in:
- Bequeathed by:
- Ernest Edward Cook through The Art Fund
The theme of a woman with a parrot was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, usually symbolizing luxury, exoticism and moral laxity. In Tiepolo's case, the brilliant red macaw serves as a colorful foil for the pale, smooth skin tones of the woman, who wears flowers in her hair and a cameo on her sleeves as she fondles the bird. The painting was part of the Ernest Edward Cook's collection who bequeathed the entire contents of his house to the Art Fund. The bequest comprised of over 150 paintings, tapestries, furniture, silver and porcelain and was distributed to nearly 100 UK galleries.