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Angelika Kauffmann

Chur 1741 - 1807 Rome
Price range
250,000 – 3,000,000 USD
Known as the ‘female Raphael of art’, the Swiss-born Angelika Kauffmann is regarded as the most successful and cultured female painter of the 18th century.

Primarily active in Italy and England, where she was a founding member of the Royal Academy, Kauffmann is the first woman artist to achieve international acclaim, attracting the patronage of cultural elites and nobles alike, from Goethe and Reynolds to Catherine II of Russia and King Ferdinand IV of Naples.

Kauffmann was an excellent portraitist but what distinguished her was her singular commitment to subjects ranging from history, literature, mythology to religion; with few exceptions, notably Artemisia Gentileschi, women artists of the 16thand 17th centuries rarely ventured beyond portraiture and still life painting. Angelika’s originality lies in her ability to bring out the female protagonists in classical subjects, such as Penelope at her Loom (Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries), subverting the traditional concept of male heroism in the story of the Odyssey. While it was portraiture that brought her wealth and prestige, she was keen to work with scenes and formats readily reproduced on furniture, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, as well as prints. With an existing oeuvre of around 800 paintings, 400 drawings and more than 600 prints made after her works, it is hard to overstate the extent of her productivity and popularity. As the Danish ambassador to London remarked in 1781: ‘The whole world is Angelica-mad’.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

848,802 $
915,000 $
1,110,000 $


The sales are: Sotheby’s London – 25 November 2004 lot 41 (453,600 GBP), Sotheby’s New York – 30 January 2019 lot 52, and Christie’s New York – 14 October 2021 lot 62.
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Notable exhibitions

London, Royal Academy of Arts, Angelica Kauffman, 1 March – 30 June 2024. Curated by Bettina Baumgärtel.

Düsseldorf, Kunstpalast, Angelika Kauffmann: Artist, Superwoman, Influencer, 30 January – 20 September 2020. Curated by Bettina Baumgärtel.

Bregenz, Vorarlberger Landesmusum and Schwarzenberg, Angelika Kauffmann Museum, Angelica Kauffmann, a Woman of Immense Talent, 14 June – 5 November 2007. Curated by Tobias G. Natter.

Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum, Angelika Kauffmann, 1741-1801, 15 November 1998 – 24 January 1999; travelled to Munich, Haus der Kunst, 5 February – 18 April 1999; travelled to Chur, Bünder Kunstmuseum, 8 May – 11 July 1999. Curated by Bettina Baumgärtel.

Rome, Palazzo Venezia, Il Settecento a Roma, 10 November 2005 – 26 February 2006. Curated by Anna Lo Bianco.

Philadelphia, Philadelphia Art Museum and Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, The Splendor of Eighteenth-Century Rome, 16 March – 28 May 2000. Curated by Edgar Peters Bowron and Joseph J. Rischel.

Books on Angelika Kauffmann

Bettina Baumgärtel, Angelica Kauffmann, exh. cat., London and Munich, 2020.

Angela Rosenthal, Angelica Kauffmann: Art and Sensibility, New Haven, 2006.

Bettina Baumgärtel, Angelika Kauffmann, exh. cat., Ostfildern-Ruit, 1998.

Wendy Wassyng Roworth, Angelica Kauffman: A Continental Artist in Georgian England, London, 1992.

Bettina Baumgärtel, Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1807) : Bedingungen weiblicher Kreativität in der Malerei des 18. Jahrhunderts, Weinheim, 1987.

Anthony Morris Clark, ‘Roma mi è sempre in pensiero’ (1968), in Studies in Roman Eighteenth-Century Painting, ed. Edgar Peters Bowron, Washington D.C., 1981.

Frances A. Gerard, Angelica Kauffmann: A Biography, London, 1892.

Giovanni Gheredo de Rossi, Vita di Angelica Kauffmann, Pittrice, Florence, 1810.


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