Angelica Kauffman R.A. (Chur, Graubünden 1741-1807 Rome)
PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Angelica Kauffman R.A. (Chur, Graubünden 1741-1807 Rome)

Orpheus and Eurydice; and Jupiter, in the guise of Diana, and Callisto

Details
Angelica Kauffman R.A. (Chur, Graubünden 1741-1807 Rome)
Orpheus and Eurydice; and Jupiter, in the guise of Diana, and Callisto
the first signed 'Angelica Kauffman / pinx.' (centre right)
oil on canvas
26 x 26 in. (65.8 x 65.8 cm.)
(2)a pair
Provenance
(Possibly) The Right Hon. Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802); Skinner and Dyke, London, 27 March 1795, lot 68 (67 gns.).
Sir Drummond Cospatric Hamilton-Spencer-Smith, 5th Bt., O.B.E. (1876-1955).
Acquired by the father of the present owners in the early 1960s.
Exhibited
Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum,1947-1956, on loan.

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Abbie Barker
Abbie Barker

Lot Essay

Born in Switzerland and trained in Italy, Angelica Kauffman came to London in 1766 and, over the following fifteen years, established herself as one of the city’s most prominent and influential artists. She married Antonio Zucchi in 1781 and together they returned to Italy where he began to keep a record of her work: a Memorandum of Paintings. There is no such record of her output from the years in England. However, the existence of a pair of stipple engravings made by Thomas Burke and published by James Birchall in 1782, which most likely derive from the present works, indicates that these pictures were completed prior to her departure from London.

Kauffman actively disseminated her designs by way of the print market; the Birchall engravings of Jupiter and Callisto and Orpheus and Eurydice popularised the compositions and they became widely used in routine painted reproductions and later prints, as well as in the decorative arts. The mythological content and decorative manner of much of her oeuvre was well suited to the late 18th century Neoclassical taste, made fashionable by Robert Adam; the present compositions can be found in both furniture and porcelain of the period.

We are grateful to Dr. Bettina Baumgärtel and Professor Wendy Wassying Roworth, who have both confirmed the attribution to Kauffman, after inspection of the originals and on the basis of photographs respectively. The pictures will be included in Dr. Baumgärtel’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist.

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