This portrait depicts the artist Angelica Kauffman, apparently taking a pause while painting. Although executed in oil, its light chalky tones resemble pastel or gouache, materials with which the artist of the work, Daniel Gardner, is more commonly associated.
The identification of Kauffman as the sitter is has been accepted since at least since the late 19th century, when the portrait was first engraved. The work may have been painted in around 1773, while Gardner was working in the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds, a friend and admirer of Kauffman.
Born in Switzerland, Angelica Kauffman studied in Florence and Rome before settling in London in 1766. She enjoyed considerable success and became a founder and the first woman member of the Royal Academy of Arts. At 39 she married the Venetian painter Antonio Zucchi (1726-1795) and, in 1782, the couple settled in Rome. There, she continued to paint and ran a Salon. Her funeral in 1807 was arranged by her friend Antonio Canova (1757-1822), the Italian sculptor.
Joshua Reynolds was the dominant artistic personality during the age of George III. He was born in Plympton, Devon. From 1750 to 1752 he studied the work of the Old Masters in Rome. Reynolds returned via Florence and Paris, and settled in London in 1753. In 1759 he painted a portrait of the future king, George, Prince of Wales (Royal Collection). After George’s accession the following year, Reynolds was dismayed to learn that Allan Ramsay had been made Principal Painter to the King. This marked the beginning of increasing hostility between Reynolds and the King. Nonetheless, by 1760 Reynolds had established himself as the leading portraitist. He became President of the Royal Academy in 1768 and was knighted the following year.
Portrait of Angelica Kauffmann, RA (1741-1807) painter
Oil on canvas
height: 63.70 cm, width: 55.70 cm
Purchased from Sotheby's, 22 November 1999
Collection of architectural conservationist and collector Derek Sherborn (1924-2004) F.S.A. by 1972; sold through Sotheby's, London, on 24 November 1999 (Lot 51); from which sale purchased by the Government Art Collection
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.