The sitter Manon Balletti was the daughter of an actress in the Comèdie Italienne company and became engaged to Casanova at about the time the portrait was painted. In 1760 she married a more reputable though older suitor, the architect Jacques-François Blondel. In contrast to many of his court portraits, Nattier's representation of Manon Balletti is remarkable for its apparent simplicity. Liveliness is conveyed by the slight turn of the head and the attraction of the sitter emphasised by the rose pinned to her dress.
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