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Marco Benefial
Rome, 1684-1764
Portrait of a Lady with a Dog, 1730s
Oil on canvas.
This unidentified sitter is shown in the typically fashionable early eighteenth-century combination of formal dress, informal setting, including the moody landscape and her lap dog, and rather casual pose. Perhaps most striking is her remarkably assured but still sympathetic expression. The picture has known a range of attributions, from painters of the Neapolitan school to Baciccio. Its firmer modeling and more restrained palette, however, characterize the work of Benefial, an extremely talented eclectic active in Rome.