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Portrait of French Countess Heads for Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) has acquired a rare, and even more rarely seen, oil painting from the mid-18th century. The rococo portrait of Comtesse d'Egmont Pignatelli was completed in 1763 by Swedish-born painter Alexander Roslin. It is now on view at the institute's recently renovated galleries.

Known for her beauty and intelligence, the countess was a key figure in the court of King Louis XV.

Roslin, who settled in Paris in 1752, quickly established himself as a fashionable and technically skilled portraitist in the king's court.

Curator Patrick Noon talks about the significance of the acquisition, considered one of the masterpieces of 18th-century French portraiture. The painting has been on public view only four times in the last 250 years; the MIA acquired the painting from New York's Wildenstein & Co. Noon says the painting has already been requested for several exhibitions, including a major Roslin retrospective in Stockholm.

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