Artworks
Self-Portrait Hesitating Between Painting and Music

Contributor

Way back when Angelica Kauffman was deciding what she wanted to do with her life, she was torn between her two passions, art and music.

She was so distraught at the difficulty of the decision that she went with her father to consult a priest in their home of Milan, who told her that while music would offer fast and easy rewards, it would be too distracting from her role as a devout young lady. So we have that priest to thank for the groundbreaking artist that is Angelica Kauffmann. 

Reflecting upon that decision forty years later, Angelica began the painting, Self-Portrait Hesitating Between Painting and Music. Music on the left has sheet music in her lap and is holding Angelica’s hand and Art on the right, wearing primary colors, has a color palette in her hand. By the demanding and somewhat pissy look on Art’s face and her insistent finger pointing her towards painting, we can see that Music was never going to win the battle for Angelica’s passion. And by the look on Music’s face, she knows that. Poor, sad Music.

So we know this painting is incredibly straightforward and not much is left to the analyst. Obviously, Angelica Kauffmann chose painting because this website is about seeing art differently, not seeing music differently. Despite all of that, the painting is actually pretty groundbreaking as a feminist work of art. The fact that Kauffmann was able to choose her own life path was a completely revolutionary idea for women at the time. So Here’s to this I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman.