Angelica Kauffman, RA (Maria Anna Angelika/Angelica Katharina Kauffman; Chur, Switzerland, 30th October 1741 – Rome, Italy, 5th November 1807)
The greatest reward I have received since throwing open the salon doors last year has been meeting the wonderful readers, writers, bloggers and historians who have visited the site and got in touch with me to chat about their love of history, art and all manner of things!
A regular reader and wonderful fellow lover of all things 18th century recently mentioned that Angelica Kauffman might well be a likely candidate for the Guide and I was shocked at myself for the oversight so, I hope, this will make up for her absence!
Angelica Kauffman enjoyed a long and lucrative career as an artist, specialising in history paintings and enjoying the support and patronage of many illustrious names including Joshua Reynolds, who championed Kauffman's work in England. She worked on several self portraits including one that is rich in symbolism, and was painted between 1770 - 75.
In the portrait, Kauffman very shrewdly depicts herself as free from the trapping of fashion and society. She has no interest in being painted as a figure of glamour but is, instead, clearly and unarguably an artist. Looking at this work one is left in no doubt that Angelica Kauffman means artistic business!
Kauffman would, of corse, of on to enjoy no small success and painted many self portraits, depicting herself in a variety of settings and styles. However, it is this work, without any trace of pomp and ceremony, that captivates me, showing a woman dedicated to her art, thoughtful and inspired.