Artist biography

Swiss painter and etcher. She was a serious and prolific painter of portraits and one of relatively few women artists painting in the Neo-classical style to specialise in subject pictures as well. She attracted glittering and international patronage (the family of George III in Britain, Grand-Duke Paul and Prince Nikolay Yusupov in Russia, Stanislav II Poniatowski and Stanislav Kostka Potocki in Poland, Queen Caroline of Naples and Emperor Joseph II of Austria) and was much admired by her fellow artists. In Rome she was accepted into the Accademia di S Luca at the precocious age of 23, and in London she was a founder-member of the Royal Academy and an invited participant in virtually every important public project involving painting, from the abortive scheme to decorate St Paul's Cathedral to the decorations for the Royal Academy's own rooms at Somerset House and John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. The final tribute paid to Kauffman in Rome at her funeral, which was arranged by Antonio Canova and attended by representatives from both the Roman and foreign academies, was the carrying along in triumph of two of her own works, in obvious emulation of Raphael's funeral.

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