c.1745. Oil on canvas, 221 x 40 cm. Schloss Charlottenburg, Potsdam, Germany. Read Note.
Barbara Campanini (1721-1799) known as Barbarina, was an Italian dancer with European fame. In 1739, she successfully performed in Paris, and then went to London for a still more triumphant career. By 1744, she was a famous dancer in Venice, and Frederick II the Great invited her to dance at the Berlin Opera from 1744 to 1748. This portrait of Barbarina was commissioned by Frederick and was originally installed behind his desk in his oval white and gold study at the Berlin Palace. The dancer's marriage to the son of the Prussian High Chancellor incurred the king's rage. Upon her divorce, Barbarina was given the title of Countess of Campanini