Angelica Kauffman (Maria Anna Angelica Catharina Kauffmann 1741-1807) was a female portraitist and history painter, a child prodigy who was already painting portraits for commission in her early teens. She was born into a noble family and was therefore provided extensive education and opportunities many other girls of her time would not have been privy to. During her teen years, Angelica made the decision to pursue her passion for painting as a career, regardless of being exceptionally talented in both the visual arts and music, as well as excelling in language and other studies.
Angelica's mother Cleophea (née Luz) passed away in 1757. Her father, Johann Joseph Kauffman (1776-1781) whom was a Swiss muralist, spent his time thereafter his wife's death dedicated to Angelica's future in the arts. The two were fortunate enough to travel through Europe until 1764 allowing Angelica to assist in her father's work while also being privileged to study and copy the masters all across Europe. It was during these adventures she had already stated her claim, first in Italy, as a leading portraitist.
In 1765 Kauffman was chosen to study at Rome’s Accademia di San Luca. In 1766, she moved to London becoming one of the most sought-after portraitists of the time. Already by 1762, she was an honorary member of the Accademia Clementina di Bologna, and given a diploma from the Accademia del Designo in Florence. She also later joined the Academia di San Luca in Rome and was admitted to the royal courts of both Parma and Florence, and here she was commissioned to produce both portraits and history paintings.
Angelica painted portraits of novelists, playwrights, poets, actors, statesmen, philosophers, and royalty (many of whom were her friends) including the Austrian Governor, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Russia, Queen Caroline and King Ferdinand of Naples, and Prince Poniatowsky of Poland.
Head to https://www.theartstory.org/artist/kauffman-angelica/life-and-legacy/ to read more about Angelica Kauffman. Her childhood and teachings in depth; how gender remained an on-going obstacle in her career; her fortune as a famous female painter in London; famous friends and future husbands (of which there were two); Her settle back in Italy in 1782; her first meetings of Academy of Arcadians in 1786; her death in 1807 including (arguably) the most elaborate organised funeral for a painter passing in Rome since the death of Raphael; and finally her legacy.
During Angelica Kauffmans lifetime she was one of the highest paid and most sought after portrait artists. First in line as a female portraitist and second only to her great friend and colleague, Sir Joshua Reynolds.
She was Angelica Kauffman.
Bold. Sexy. Fierce.
Tanya x Marie