Rosalba Carriera began her artistic career as a child, drawing lace patterns for her father, a lacemaker.
She studied with some famous painters but was probably largely self-taught. She was admitted to membership in the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1705 and later elected to the Académie Royale in Paris. By 1709, she had painted a self-portrait acquired by Cosimo III de Medici. Especially after her first trip to Paris in 1721, her work was in great demand. Her clients included the royalty and aristocrats of Europe, including many on the Grand Tour. Rosalba Carriera was especially acclaimed for her portrait miniatures and her works using pastels to create dancing lights and shimmering textures. One of her two sisters, Giovanna, served as her assistant.