Mini Biography: Angelica Kauffman

Birth: Oct. 30, 1741
Death: Nov. 5th, 1807
Nationality: Swiss
Movement: Neoclassical
Kauffman was very well educated for her time; a talented singer she spoke four languages and was a commissioned portrait painter while still in her teens. She traversed several countries with her father, a mural painter, as his assistant and as such was exposed to a large amount of Classic, Renaissance, and Neoclassical artwork. Kauffman studied painting in Italy and later, in London, drew and painted portraits for young men on the Grand Tour while increased her reputation, social standing, and earnings by painting portraits of lords and ladies. A member of the Royal Academy she exhibited multiple paintings every year until moving to Rome where she continued painting portraits as well as completing several large historical pieces. By the time of her death, Kauffman had over 1800 pieces of work in her oeuvre including more than 800 paintings. Her funeral was a grand affair attended by notable scholars and artists and the funeral procession itself included singers as well as her artwork. She is buried in Sant’Andrea delle Fratte in Rome.
Some of her notable works include The Family of the Earl of Gower (1772), The Judgment of Paris which was painted in 1781 and is the digitally altered header, and an engraving for the Shakespearean play Troilus and Cressida pictured below:
Kauffman, Angelica. Troilus and Cressida, Act V, Scene II (1789), engraving for an edition by the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.


National Museum of Women in the Arts

National Portrait Gallery

The Athenaeum