Angelika Kauffmann

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Self-portrait from 1784, Neue Pinakothek , Munich

Angelika Kauffmann RA (actually Maria Anna Angelica Catharina Kauffmann ) (born October 30, 1741 in Chur , Free State of the Three Leagues ; † November 5, 1807 in Rome ) was a well-known Swiss - Austrian painter of classicism .


Childhood and youth

Angelika Kauffmann: Self-portrait as a singer with sheet music, 1753
Angelika Kauffmann's birthplace

Angelika Kauffmann was in 1741 as the daughter of the portrait and fresco painter Joseph Johann Kauffmann and his wife, midwife Cleophea Lutz, in Reichsgasse 57 of Gotteshausbund -Stadt Chur, where her father at that time the Episcopal born worked Castle. In 1752 the family moved to Como , where the father's greatest clients - and later Angelika Kauffmann - finally became the Counts of Salis . The girl grew up on Lake Como on, was six years old already as of drawings prodigy and was by her father and different teachers in Como and Milan taught in painting and music, as there was no regular schooling for girls. Her father taught her to read and write, and her mother taught her languages, first German and Italian, then English and French.

In 1753 she painted her first self-portrait after her father had taught her to paint. Angelika Kauffmann herself described her youth as characterized by wonderful palaces, beautiful villas, elegant boats and magnificent theaters. From 1754 to 1757 the family traveled to Italy, where they settled in Milan at the court of the Austrian Governor General, Francesco III. d'Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio, stayed.

Angelika Kauffmann's portrait of her father Joseph Johann Kauffmann , around 1761–1764.

After her mother's death on March 1, 1757 in Milan, she and her father moved to their father's house in Schwarzenberg in the Bregenzerwald . More youth works were created there. After a devastating fire in the local church , her father took over the redesign of the interior of the rebuilt church. Angelika painted thirteen half-length figures of the apostles based on the models of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and at a later date also donated the picture of the high altar with her art. These frescoes remained her only work in the field of wall painting .


Portrait of David Garrick , 1764, Stamford, Burghley House

In the years 1757-1759 they took commissioned trips to Meersburg and Tettnang , during which they portrayed the Prince-Bishop of Konstanz , Franz Konrad von Rodt , and members of the Count's family from Montfort . She continued to develop in an initially unfamiliar environment before she left for Italy with her father in 1760 to study the art of antiquity and the Renaissance . On the way they earned the travel money by portraying locals in Graubünden and Valtellina .

In the years 1760–1762 she stayed with her father in Milan, Modena and Parma for a long time . They reached Florence on June 9, 1762 . On October 5th, Kauffmann was elected honorary member of the Accademia Clementina di Bologna and five days later she received the diploma of the Accademia del Disegno . From January 1763 she lived with her father in Rome, where she stayed until 1766. There she painted numerous contemporaries. She became well known in 1764 with the portrait of the founder of modern art studies and classical archeology, Johann Joachim Winckelmann .

From July 6, 1763 to April 12, 1764, they visited Naples and Ischia, where Angelika Kauffmann was allowed to make some copies in the Palazzo Capodimonte and then thanked the King of Naples for permission. Then she specialized in portraits of famous travelers to Italy, mostly English. She succeeded so well with the portrait of the famous actor David Garrick that her father sent it to London for the Society of Artists exhibition . This work made her famous in England too. With her recording piece "The Hope", Kauffmann became a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome on May 5, 1765 . On July 1, 1765, they traveled to Venice via Bologna.

On the recommendation of a Lady Wentworth, father and daughter moved from Italy to London in the spring of 1766 , where they arrived on June 22nd and temporarily settled in an apartment on Suffolk Street in Charing Cross. Kauffmann visited the famous English painter Joshua Reynolds in his studio on June 30th . On October 20, 1766, she finally portrayed him on canvas. She is said to have rejected his marriage proposal, but he still promoted her career in England. Kauffmann and Reynolds portrayed each other, Kauffmann's Reynolds portrait can be seen alongside three other of their works in Saltram House in Plympton near Plymouth .

On November 22, 1767, Kauffmann married the alleged Swedish Count Frederick de Horn. This brief first marriage was unhappy for her. Horn, who must be regarded as a marriage swindler , suddenly disappeared with all her savings. On February 10, 1768, their marriage was declared invalid by a court of the Anglican State Church .

Kauffmann was next to Mary Moser the only woman among the 34 founding members of the Royal Academy appointed by the king (1768). From then on, she repeatedly exhibited her pictures on the premises of the Academy in London. When the Royal Academy moved to Somerset House , they were allowed to create four oval allegorical ceiling paintings there.

Kauffmann's second husband, chosen at the father's request, was the considerably older Venetian painter Antonio Zucchi (1726–1795), whom she married in July 1781 in London and who subsequently also acted as her "manager". Shortly afterwards, the newlyweds traveled with Kauffmann's father to Flanders, Schwarzenberg, Verona and Padua and reached Venice in October. Kauffmann's father died in January 1782.

In November of the same year, the couple set up a house and studio near Santa Trinità dei Monti on the Pincio in Rome. The former house of the painter Anton Raphael Mengs in Via Sistina 72 became a meeting place for the city's artists, but also for the aristocracy. Emperor Joseph II was there as a guest, the Bavarian Crown Prince, Anna Amalia von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1787) and Johann Gottfried Herder (1788/1789). The latter called Kauffmann the "most cultivated woman in Europe". She was close friends with the art agent Johann Friedrich Reiffenstein (1719–1793) until his death.

Self-portrait at the crossroads between music and painting , 1794
Three female singers , 1795

Between 1791 and 1792 Kauffmann painted her most important self-portrait, the self-portrait at the crossroads between music and painting , which can be seen in Moscow's Pushkin Museum . Another version, signed 1794, is now in Nostell Priory . Antonio Zucchi died in 1795, and as a result she lived more secluded. In her painting she devoted herself more and more to religious subjects. From a serious illness in 1802 she could never really recover. Angelika Kauffmann died on November 5, 1807 and was buried in the church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte . In the same year a bust of her was placed in the Pantheon in Rome.


Goethe got to know and appreciate Angelika Kauffmann in her prime. He read her the newly completed version of Iphigenia and was pleased with her positive opinion. Kauffmann made illustrations for the play. Goethe returned the favor with a work edition.

In his color theory , Goethe reported on his discussions with Angelika Kauffmann and praised her willingness to experiment. In support of her arguments, she painted “landscapes without any blue color”.

However, he criticized her portrait of Goethe:

He's always a handsome guy, but there's no sign of me. "

After Goethe's departure, Kauffmann wrote to him:

Theürer friend! Your departure from us penetrated my heart and soul, the day of your departure was one of the sad days of my life. "

In Eckermann's "Conversations with Goethe", Eckermann noted on December 5, 1823:

I brought some minerals to Goethen, especially a piece of clayey oker, which Deschamps found at Cormayan, and of which Mr. Massot makes a lot of praise. But how amazed Goethe was when he recognized the same color in this color that Angelika Kaufmann used to use for the meat portions of her paintings. 'She valued what little she had of it, he said, by the weight of the gold. The place where it came from and where to find it was unknown to her. ' "

Death and fame

Angelika Kauffmann on the 100 Schilling banknote (1970)
Liechtenstein postage stamp (1982)

The funeral of the famous painter was made into a magnificent funeral procession by the sculptor Antonio Canova . Kauffmann and her husband are buried in the Roman church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte . The two grave inscriptions were written by Angelika Kauffmann and are a sign of her self-image and self-confidence as an important artist of her time.

The first biography of Kauffmann by Giovanni Rossi appeared in Italian as early as 1810, and the German version by Alois Weinhart in 1814 under the title Life of the famous painter Angelika Kauffmann .

The penultimate issue of the one hundred schilling note showed the portrait of Angelika Kauffmann after the painting by Reynolds.

In December 1982, the Principality of Liechtenstein issued a stamp in memory of Kauffmann's visit to Liechtenstein, on which her painting Self-Portrait with a Bust of Minerva from 1780 is depicted.

In Schwarzenberg, Angelika Kauffmann's adopted home, the Angelika Kauffmann Museum , which has existed since 1913, was expanded in 2007 . It was awarded the Austrian Museum Seal of Approval and is a historic building from the 16th century with modern showrooms. The annually changing exhibitions are devoted to the work of Angelika Kauffmann from different perspectives. In 2017 the exhibition I see myself. Portraits of women shown by Angelika Kauffmann , in 2018 the exhibition dealt with portraits of men she painted.

Angelika Kauffmann is one of those women in art who have never been forgotten after their death.

Angelika Kauffmann created portraits and historical pictures . Her portraits were idealizing and characterized by rococo and sensitivity. Later, under the influence of Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Anton Raphael Mengs, she also worked in the classical style.

  • Portrait of the patrician Anton von Salis. ( Paspels Castle ), 1757.
  • Portrait of the Landammann Bartholomäus Aberer . Angelika Kauffmann Museum, 1758, oil on canvas
  • Portrait of Johann Joachim Winckelmann . ( Kunsthaus Zürich ), 1764, oil on canvas
  • Self-portrait with pen (private collection), 1768, oil on canvas, 60.8 × 43.4 cm
  • John Simpson, father of Maria Susanna Lady Ravensworth. (Vienna, Austrian Gallery ), 1773, oil on canvas
  • Portrait of a Lady as a Vestal Virgin. (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie ), 4th quarter of the 18th century, oil on canvas, 92 × 72 cm
  • Self portrait. (St. Petersburg, Hermitage ), 1780–1785, oil on canvas, 76.5 × 63 cm
  • Abelard's Farewell to Heloise (St. Petersburg, Hermitage), 1780, oil on canvas, 65.5 cm in diameter
  • The monk from Calais. (St. Petersburg, Hermitage), 1780, oil on canvas, 65.5 cm in diameter
  • Self portrait. (Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum), around 1781
  • Poetry embraces painting. (London, Lord Iveagh Bequest Collection), 1782, oil on canvas, 61 cm in diameter
  • Scene with Miranda and Ferdinand from Shakespeare's ' The Tempest '. (Vienna, Austrian Gallery), 1782, oil on canvas, 35 × 45 cm
  • Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, and his family. (Vienna, Liechtenstein Museum ), 1783
  • Self-portrait. (Munich, Neue Pinakothek , Inv. No. 1056), 1784, oil on canvas, 64.8 × 50.7 cm
  • Julia, the wife of Pompey, learns of the supposed death of her husband. (Weimar, Schlossmuseum), 1785, oil on canvas, 100.4 × 127.6 cm
  • Juliane von Krüdener and her son Paul. (Paris, Musée du Louvre ), 1786, oil on canvas
  • Countess Anna Protasova with her nieces. (St. Petersburg, Hermitage), 1788, oil on canvas, 123 × 159 cm
  • Portrait of Countess Catherine Skawronska. (Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum , Gm 1931), 1789
  • Duchess Anna Amalia von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach ( Klassik Stiftung Weimar ), 1789, oil on canvas
  • Venus persuades Helena Paris to answer. (St. Petersburg, Hermitage), 1790, oil on canvas, 102 × 127.5 cm
  • Death of Alcestis. (Bregenz, vorarlberg museum ), 1790
  • Self-portrait at the crossroads between music and painting. ( Pushkin Museum , Moscow), 1791/92; ( Nostell Priory , West Yorkshire), signed 1794, oil on canvas, 147.3 × 215.9 cm
  • Agrippa mourns over the urn of Germanicus ( Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf , legacy Werner G. Linus Müller), 1793, oil on canvas, 128.2 × 93.6 cm
  • Portrait of the impromptu virtuoso Teresa Bandettini-Landucci as a muse , (Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, legacy Werner G. Linus Müller), 1794, oil on canvas, 128.2 × 93.6 cm


  • 1998/1999: Angelika Kauffmann retrospective (270 works with approx. 450 illustrations), Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum (November 15, 1998 - January 24, 1999); Munich, Haus der Kunst (February 5 - April 18, 1999); Chur, Bündner Kunstmuseum (May 8 - July 11, 1999)
  • since 2007: Permanent documentation in the Schwarzenberg Local History Museum, which was reopened on June 3, 2007 as the Angelika Kauffmann Museum with a commemorative exhibition on the 200th anniversary of death .
  • 2007: The second part of the commemorative exhibition for the 200th anniversary of death was on view in the Vorarlberg Landesmuseum Bregenz, where the largest Kauffmann collection is located (June 14th - November 5th, 2007).
  • 2008: Angelika Kauffmann: In love with the fatherland. Friends of Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg (May 17 - October 26, 2008).
  • 2010/2011: Angelika Kaufmann (1741–1807) - The Vorarlberg State Museum as a guest. Salzburg Museum / New Residence (November 19, 2010 - February 20, 2011).
  • 2011: Angelika Kauffmann - lovers. Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg (June 11 - October 26, 2011).
  • 2012: Angelika Kauffmann - Painting and Myth. At the Wiesbaden Casino Society (February 9 - March 18, 2012).
  • 2012: Angelika Kauffmann between music and painting. Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg (May 12 - October 28, 2012).
  • 2015: Angelika Kauffmann - Residence Rome. Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg (May 1 - October 25, 2015)
  • 2019: Angelika Kauffmann. Unknown treasures from Vorarlberg's private collections vorarlberg museum and Angelika Kauffmann Museum Schwarzenberg (June 16 - November 3, 2019)
  • 2020: Angelika Kauffmann. Artist, superwoman, influencer. Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (January 30 - May 24, 2020)


Web links

Commons : Angelica Kauffmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Whitney Chadwick: Women, Art, and Society. Thames And Hundson, London 1994, p. 7.
  2. ↑ In 2010, the collection of 18th century paintings in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow will open with paintings by Angelika Kauffmann (Fig. 41). , on Angelika Kauffmann Research Project, by Bettina Baumgärtel , accessed on February 20, 2020
  3. Oil painting on canvas, Self-portrait the Artist hesitating between the Arts of Music and Painting by Angelica Kauffman RA (Chur 1741 - Rome 1807), signed on the artist's sash: Angelica Kauffn Sc. & P. Pinxit, Rome 1794. […] This painting, which is a very fine example of her work, was executed in Rome, where she lived with her husband, Antonio Zucchi, from 1781 until her death in 1807. It presents the artist as a kind of female Hercules, choosing not between Virtue and Vice, but between her profession as a painter, which was traditionally a male dominated field (the figure of Painting points to a far away temple, symbolizing the difficulty of her journey), and a career devoted to the easier, more traditionally feminine, Art of Music. In recent years, this self-portrait has become an icon of the feminist interpretation of art history. It was acquired by the 2nd Baron St Oswald in 1908, from the collection of Mrs Strickland at Cokethorpe, to serve as a pendant to the Lockey, at the opposite end of the Top Hall (once the organ, installed in the 1820s, had been removed to Wragby Church). The 2nd Baron may have been attracted to the painting because it was thought at the time that Kauffman, rather than Zucchi, had worked with Adam on the decoration at Nostell. It remained in the Top Hall until 1939. Though it came relatively late to the collection, it is now a well known picture at Nostell. Another version, dated 1792, is in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.
  4. ^ A b Hans Ziegler: Rich and famous. The secret millions of the great poets, thinkers and inventors. Ueberreuter, Frankfurt / Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-7064-0807-4 .
  5. The second inscription reads (in modernized transcription and with dissolved abbreviations): H (ic) s (ita) e (st) Angelica Ioannis Iosephi f (ilia) Kauffmann domo Schwarzenbergio, cui summa picturae laus cenotaphium in aede Panthei promeruit, sed ipsa se in hoc monumentum, quod Antonio Zucchio posuerat, inferri iussit, ut cum viro concordissimo post funus etiam habitaret. Annos nata LXVI dies VI obiit Romae Non (is) Nov (embribus) MDCCCVII. Ave mulier optima et vale in pace. (Angelica Kauffmann, daughter of Johann Joseph, from Schwarzenberg, who earned the highest praise in painting the right to a cenotaph (honorary grave) in the Pantheon Temple, but she herself decreed that she should be in this tomb, which she for Antonio Zucchi had erected, would be buried so that she and her husband could live in the most intimate harmony even after the funeral. At the age of 66 years and 6 days she died in Rome on the Nones of November (= November 5th) 1807. Hail, best wife and live (rest) in peace.) - A cenotaph is actually an empty tomb, here one can understand it to be an honorary grave. In the Pantheon , several artists are buried, but the most important is Raphael . It is a proud word when a painter claims that she has been accorded the same honors as the well-respected Raphael.
  6. 100 Schilling 1969. ( Memento from September 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Angelika Kauffmann Museum ,, accessed on June 9, 2011.
  8. accessed on Oct. 18, 2019
  9. ^ Regina Mönch: Thanks to a patronage gesture; in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from June 24, 2013
  10. Self-portrait of the Artist hesitating between the Arts of Music and Painting, Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire (Accredited Museum) , on show at Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, February 2020
  11. ^ Exhibition Angelika Kauffmann. Unknown treasures from Vorarlberg private collections on the community website of the community of Schwarzenberg (accessed on June 18, 2019)