A Swiss painter
of the eighteenth century, a child prodigy
in Italy and a founder member of the Royal Academy
in London. Her popularity all over Europe was despite the fact that as a woman she was never allowed formal artistic
study. She did numerous portraits but her main interest was in history
scenes, from classical history and also from such works as the Aeneid
and the romances of Ariosto
Born in Chur in Grisons canton in 1741, she assisted her father with his paintings but was quickly recognized as a great talent in her own right. Arriving in London in 1766 she added the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds to her earlier Italianate style. She did commissions for royal courts in Russia, Austria, and Naples. She had a short failed marriage to an adventurer called Count Horn, then later she married the Venetian painter Antonio Zucchi in 1781 and returned with him to Italy. She died in 1807.
Kauffmann's works are typically enjoyable, but the barb in that is that it is hard to see them as any deeper than "pretty". She does not seem to have the insight of her contemporary Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun, or the easy immediacy of Reynolds. I stop by examples of her work in the National Gallery and at Kenwood and think I ought to find more in them than I do.