Artist
Angelica Kauffman
Swiss-Austrian painter (1741-1807)

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Angelica Kauffman
Swiss-Austrian painter (1741-1807)

Birth Date

October 30, 1741

Death Date

November 05, 1807

Contributor

Angelica Kauffmann was born a badass child prodigy in 1741.

In her early childhood, she received an incredible education for a girl in the 18th century. (Hooray for early feminism!) Her father, also a painter, encouraged her to pursue painting while her mother taught her five languages. She also read incessantly and was a talented singer. But when the time came that she had to choose between singing and painting, she consulted a priest and decided to paint. And paint she did.

As a history and portrait painter, Angelica went on to become one of the founding members of the Royal Academy, a group a part of which she would remain one of two female members for the next 200 years. She was the it-girl to commission a painting from among Scottish, Irish, and English nobility and had everyone and their mom (including the Queen Mother) eating out of the palm of her very talented hand. She had works commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, George III of England and many, many more.

Her personal life was not quite as awesome as her career however. Her first marriage was to a man named, Count Frederick de Horn who was a Swedish imposter. There are countering viewpoints about how she fell into this marriage. One source says that, “her vanity made her the victim of a cruel deception.” Another says that she was “seduced into a clandestine marriage.” Either way she dumped him as soon as she found out that he was a poser. When he died, she married another artist, Antonio Zucchi, who turned out to be incredibly forward thinking in terms of feminism and ran the household and kept track of their accounts while his wife brought in the dough. Angelica Kauffmann was described as “the most accomplished woman in Europe” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and left a legacy of badassery behind her.

Contributor

Swiss (Born October 30, 1741 - Died November 5, 1807)

Dad was a painter.

Pretty, great voice, spoke five languages.

She eloped and married an adventurer who pretended to be a Swedish Count. They separated, and she had to wait for him to die before she could marry again.

She was pals with Joshua Reynolds and Goethe.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Angelica Kauffman

Maria Anna Angelika Kauffmann RA (30 October 1741 – 5 November 1807), usually known in English as Angelica Kauffman, was a Swiss Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Remembered primarily as a history painter, Kauffmann was a skilled portraitist, landscape and decoration painter. She was one of the two female founding members of the Royal Academy in London in 1768.


Early life

Kauffman was born at Chur in Graubünden, Switzerland. Her family moved to Morbegno in 1742, then Como in Lombardy in 1752 at that time under Austrian rule. In 1757 she accompanied her father to Schwarzenberg in Vorarlberg/Austria where her father was working for the local bishop. Her father, Joseph Johann Kauffmann, was a relatively poor man but a skilled Austrian muralist and painter, who was often traveling for his work. He trained Angelica and she worked as his assistant, moving through Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Angelica, a child prodigy, rapidly acquired several languages from her mother, Cleophea Lutz, including German, Italian, French and English. She also showed talent as a musician and was forced to choose between opera and art. She quickly chose art as a Catholic priest told Kauffman that the opera was a dangerous place filled with "seedy people." By her twelfth year she had become known as a painter, with bishops and nobles being her sitters.

In 1754, her mother died and her father decided to move to Milan. Later visits to Italy of long duration followed. She became a member of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in 1762. In 1763 she visited Rome, returning again in 1764. From Rome she passed to Bologna and Venice, everywhere feted for her talents and charm. Writing from Rome in August 1764 to his friend Franke, Winckelmann refers to her popularity; she was then painting his picture, a half-length; of which she also made an etching. She spoke Italian as well as German, he says, and 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 adds, "and in singing may vie with our best virtuosi". In 1765, her work appeared in England in an exhibition of the Free Society of Artists. She moved to England shortly after and established herself as a leading artist.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Angelica Kauffman.