Angelica Kauffmann

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Angelica Kauffmann: A Genius of Portrait Artwork

Angelica Kauffmann was born in 1741 in Switzerland, and her parents were painters who came from a noble family. Being the child of two great artists nourished the artist in Angelica. She was a remarkable pioneer who made art similar just to other famous women artists. She was multi-lingual, educated, well-cultured, and widely traveled. She was highly respected and well-connected with many influential artists of that period. She was one of two women to officially sign the founding document for the Royal Academy in London establishment. She has influenced many women artists at that time, and her work for the young generation is a precious gift indeed.

Early life

Angelica produced many self-portraits, portraits of notable figures, and large canvases throughout her career, but she was predominantly known as a traditional neoclassical painter. Angelica got married to a Venetian artist, Antonio Zucchi. Her father had a great influence throughout her life. From the age of 13, she started painting portraits, and with this, she earned a great reputation in a male-dominated world. In many works, Angelica presented her self-portrait. Influenced by Neoclassicist art and English romantic literature, she created paintings from Alexander Pope's and Homer's writings. The artist was confident to display her work, that later became a strong identification for all woman. At that period majority of the artists were male, and the females were models, but Angelica changed this system with her work.

Famous artworks

  • Self-portrait aged thirteen- She made this portrait of her when she was thirteen. In this portrait, Angelica showed that she was equally talented in painting and music.
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA- it is the portrait of the influential English painter Joshua Reynolds.
  • Self-portrait- this is again a self-portrait from 1787. Here Angelica shows herself with crayons and her portfolio, 
  • Portrait of a lady- this artwork is a masterwork by Angelica. The accuracy of detail, tone, and proportion of these portraits is truly remarkable.  

Angelica Kauffmann died on November 5, 1807. Throughout her life, she remained dedicated to art and paints, which was phenomenal. She challenged the contemporary perspectives on gender at her time and cleverly used the elite art forms. She was indeed an inspiration