PESNE, Antoine
(b. 1683, Paris, d. 1757, Berlin)

The Dancer Barbara Campanini

c. 1745
Oil on canvas, 221 x 140 cm
Neues Palais, Potsdam

Dance enlivens this portrait of the Italian ballerina Barbara Campanini, known as Barbarina. She left for Paris in 1739, and then went to London for a still more successful career. By 1744 she was a famous dancer in Venice, and Frederick the Great would invite her to dance at the opera from 1744 to 1748. This portrait from 1745 was originally installed just behind Frederick's desk in his oval white and gold study at the Berlin Palace.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Gioacchino Rossini: La Danza