Without their unique & colourful costumes some of the Comedie del Arte characters wouldn't be readily identifiable. Certain information could be derived from their clothing; audiences knew what members of the various social classes typically wore, and also expected certain colours to represent certain emotional states. In this bright work Berlin has given us a beautiful glimpse at another member of the Comedie's family, Bella the seamstress who labours behind the scenes to enable the performers to present themselves in full regalia. Sometimes it is the unseen, less visible characters that can be the most alluring, this portrait of Bella at work is a fine example.
Using hand ground pigments made from semi-precious stones gives this painting a rich depth of quality that cannot be found in modern oil paints.