Angelica Kauffman

Angelica Kauffman was born on October 30, 1741 in Switzerland and died on November 5, 1807. She was a swish painter and painted in the early Neoclassical style. His father was a poor painter, but he successfully taught Angelica how to paint well. Angelica made great progress in painting that caused bishops and nobles to become her sitters at an age of 12. As she grow older, she became an international painter and a capable painter of historical and mythological subjects. In 1768, she was a founding member of London's Royal Academy of arts and sent paintings to exhibitions. In 1781, She married to the painter Antonio Zucchi, who was grateful to keep all her meticulous record of commission. In 1782, Angelica and her husband returned to Rome. She then also spent time in Milan, Florence, and Naples, and painted portraits of Englishmen on the Grand Tour. She spent last part of her life in Eternal City and died there.

Self Portrait by Angelica Kauffmann (c.1771-1775) oi on canvas
Angelica Kauffmann, by Angelica Kauffmann, circa 1770-1775 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
Angelica Kauffmann, by Angelica Kauffmann, circa 1770-1775 - NPG - © National Portrait Gallery, London

In this artwork, Kaufmann holds her materials to make a drawing. Her clothing is an imaginary, classical garment, a representation of her place in a lineage of artists. By her clothing, we can see she's not into social world and the fashion world all the women are in. So she identifies herself as an artist rather than a woman.

Cornelia Pointing To Her Children As Her Treasure (c.1785, oil on canvas)

After living in London from 1766 to 1781, she returned to Italy and painted this artwork for an English patron. This was a scene about Rome when it was still a republic era. The woman on the far right visited the woman who's standing up (Cornelia). She started to show Cornelia all those jewelries that she has, and soon asks Cornelia to show those of her hostess. Cornelia showed the woman her children and says that" they are her most valuable jewels". Cornelia exemplifies to be a "good mother", which was a popular theme for the eighteenth-century patrons. The artwork emphasis that the two sons grew up to be the political reformer.

Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting (c. 1792, oil on canvas)
angelica kauffmann self portrait music painting resized 600
angelica kauffmann self portrait music painting resized 600

Angelica Kauffmann, was known as a child prodigy who was making portraits and help her father in church murals before she was 15. She was a singer, painter, and a linguist. Before she chose her career for her life, she painted this artwork how she had to choose between become a singer of a painter. From the painting, you can see she's undecided about if she should choose the girl with music piece or the girl with art pallet. this artwork recalls the them about Hercules, who must choose between luxury and fame at the Crossroads.


Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Print. 925-926.