Possibly the most cultured woman in Europe

Trail blazers do not always come from the most likely beginnings. The daughter of middle-class, Swiss parents, Angelica Kauffman came from an unremarkable background but she was a child prodigy. In her early years, her talent for painting was matched by her singing voice and she had to make a choice between the two careers. She chose art and by the time she was nine was supporting her parents. They travelled widely, spending time in Italy and 15 years in London. She gained a reputation for portraiture, painting many of the key figures of the day.

She was influential, being one of just two female founding members of the Royal Academy where a new exhibition of her works opens this week. However, it’s clear that her success was not just down to her prowess as a neoclassical painter. Angelica spoke five languages, she knew her own mind and was possessed of that most important quality in society….charm!

She was a ground breaking role model for the many female artists who followed in her footsteps. There’s lots more to share about the life of this fascinating lady but in the meantime, we hope that this reel gives you a feel for her sensitive and inspiring work.

Thank you to the Royal Academy for the press invite. 

Angelica Kauffman at the Royal Academy 

1 March – 30 June 2024

The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries | Burlington House