The ‘donne illuminate’ which means enlightened women are luminous portraits based on 6 paintings by Pietro Rotari, an eighteenth century painter based in the Veneto region who spent a great deal of time in Russia. The paintings are part of a private collection near Milan.
These young women who lived during the 1700’s, the age of enlightenment, are of different social extractions and geographical locations.
Based on their attire and somatic features these women are presumably Italian, French, Russian and of gypsy origin.
With great relish we have imaged the often outrageous lives of these ‘enlightened women’: a form of storytelling that redeems them from anonymity and makes them more familiar to us.
With history of art as our guideline, we have tried to update these painting, without affecting their intimate emotional impact and uniqueness, in a kind of ideal conversation between ancient and modern, between technology and design.