Monday, November 11, 2013

Fashion! - Angelica Kauffman, Swiss-Austrian artist, 1741-1807 paints Newoclassical & Turquerie self-portraits



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Said to be both a Self Portrait and Bacchanal 1785


Angelica Kauffman was born in Switzerland, but grew up in Austria, where her family had originated. Her father, Joseph Johann Kauffman, was an itinerant artist who often traveled Europe seeking painting commissions. He taught his daughter to paint. Angelica Kauffman was quick to adopt his best qualities & sought to learn more. Her mother taught her several languages. The young artist read incessantly & showed talent as a musician. Her greatest gift seemed to be painting.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self -portrait as Singer, Holding a Sheet of Music. 1753


By the time she was 12, she had bishops & nobles for her sitters. In 1754, her father took her to Milan.  Additional family visits to Italy led to Rome in 1763-64.  From Rome, she ventured to Bologna & Venice, where she was celebrated for both her talents & her personal charm. By this time, the young artist spoke Italian as well as German, French, & English, making her a favorite portratist of English visitors taking the grand tour to Rome.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1763


In 1763, she became acquainted with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, & she attended Winckelmann's courses in perspective. Winckelmann was a leading German historian & architect. Her interactions with Winckelmann forced her broaden her stylistic horizon & aroused her interest in neoclassicism. Winckelmann espoused the virtues of Greek & Roman art, whether in the field of architecture or painting.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Writing from Rome in August 1764, to his friend Franke, Winckelmann refered to her popularity. (She was then painting his portrait of which she also made an etching.)  She spoke Italian as well as German, he reported & expressed herself with facility in French and English - one result of the last-named accomplishment being that she became a popular portraitist for British visitors to Rome. “She may be styled beautiful,” he added, “and in singing may vie with our best virtuosi.”



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1760s


While at Venice, she was invited by Lady Wentworth, the wife of the German ambassador, to accompany her to London, where the royal family received them. When Angelica Kauffman decided to move to London in 1766, she enjoyed a reinvention of herself as a neoclassicist that would produce her greatest artistic successes. The movement of neoclassicism sought to embrace the ancient, namely in Greek & Roman art. She also included recent references to Turquerie in her portraits.  As characteristic of most neoclassical painters, her paintings also began to depict classical mythology & allegory


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


In London, she became close with Joshua Reynolds & was included in the 1769 initial catalogue of the Royal Academy of Painting a& Sculpture. From 1769 until 1782, she was an annual exhibitor, sending sometimes as many as 7 pictures, generally classic or allegorical subjects.



Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Said by Some to Be a Self Portrait 1781


In England & on the continent, she inspired & developed friendships with many artists, ranging from Philipp Hacke to Goethe. Indeed, Goethe was among her greatest supporters, describing her as the most “accomplished woman in Europe” as a female painter. She painted his portrait, as well.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Kauffman's strength became her work in history painting, the most elite category in academic painting during the 18th century. Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in English society & her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the English had for history painting, prefering portraits of their family members instead. It was the same complaint that John Singleton Copley had of colonial Americans.


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807)


She married Antonio Zucchi (1728–1795), a Venetian artist then resident in Britain, & they decided to return to Italy. Ultimately, she left England for the continent, where history painting was better established, esteemed, & patronized. She continued at intervals to contribute to the Academy in London, her last exhibit being in 1797. In the last years of her life she was sorely tried by reverses of fortune & by the death of her husband in 1795. "The poverty does not terrify me," she confided to an intimate friend, "but the loneliness kills me."


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1780


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait with the Blustockings 1778


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait 1781


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait_1784


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Allegory of Poetry and Music Self Portrait on Left 1782


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) - Self Portrait 1787


Maria Anna Angelica Katharina Kauffman (Swiss-Austrian Neoclassical artist, 1741-1807) Self Portrait Hesitating Between the Arts of Music and Painting. 1791 Angelica showed a great aptitude for music and singing, and some of her father's friends strongly urged her to give up painting, but in vain.


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