Denner, a native of Hamburg, lived and worked in England from 1721 to 1728. He was famous in his day for meticulous and enamel-like portraits of old men and women which depicted wrinkled skin and old age in elaborate detail. Such works won him international acclaim and were highly sought after, but when in London he decided to abandon this exhausting work for a broader manner. This lively study of a market girl is an exceptional example of his new style, executed with a fluidity which pressages that of Hogarth. Figurative genre was popular in Continental Europe in the early eighteenth century and this work demonstrates the new artistic scope immigrant artists were bringing to London.
Gallery label, August 2004