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ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)
ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)
ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)
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ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)
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CHICAGO CLASSICAL: A PRIVATE COLLECTION
ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)

The Triumph of Venus with the Three Graces; and Cimon and Iphigenia

Details
ANGELICA KAUFFMAN, R.A. (CHUR, GRAUBÜNDEN 1741-1807 ROME)
The Triumph of Venus with the Three Graces; and Cimon and Iphigenia
oil on canvas, in period frames
25 ¼ x 25 ½ in. (64.2 x 64.7 cm.), each
a pair
Provenance
Sir Richard Brooke (1814-1888), 7th Bt., Norton Priory, Cheshire, and by descent to,
Sir Richard Brooke (1888-1981), 9th Bt., Norton Priory, Cheshire; his sale, Christie's, London, 20 May 1921, lot 104.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 11 June 1999, lot 48.
with Simon Dickinson, Ltd., London, where acquired by the present owner in 1999.
Literature
Lady V. Manners and G.C. Williamson, Angelica Kauffmann, R.A.: her life and works, London, 1924, pp. 180, 235.
Exhibited
Wrexham, Art Treasures Exhibition, 1876, nos. 327 and 327a.

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Lot Essay

The story of Cimon and Iphigenia is taken from Boccaccio's Decameron. Cimon, the son of a nobleman of Cyprus, a handsome young man although coarse and uneducated, fell in love with the maiden Iphigenia and eventually married her. The effects of the marriage were wholly beneficial to his nature, transforming him into an accomplished and polished gallant. In Kauffmann's picture Cimon is shown when he first sets eyes on Iphigenia as she lies asleep beside a stream. The Triumph of Venus was a recurrent theme in Italian paintings of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries when civic processions, which often celebrated the the triumph of pagan deities, were popular in Italian cities. Kauffmann depicts Venus in a triumphal chariot drawn by Cupid.

The exact early provenance of the pictures remains unclear but is seems likely that they were commissioned by a member of the Brooke family of Runcorn. Lady Victoria Manners mentions 'Two Classical pictures' under an entry for 'Mr. R.M. Brooke, Norton Priory, Runcorn' as recorded in the artist's Italian list (Lady V. Manners, op.cit., p.180). The artist's memorandum of paintings also records a 'life size' portrait of a Thomas Brooke Esq., dressed as a Spaniard in black, together with one of Mr. Brooke's wife, attired as a muse, for which payment of 240 Zechini was received (entry dated Rome April, 1795) and in a note on this entry Lady Victoria Manners commented 'This Thomas Brooke would possibly be a member of the family of Brooke of Norton Priory. He was perhaps the Thomas Brooke (b.1760) who married a daughter of Sir Thomas Cunliffe' (Lady V. Manners, op.cit., p.166, note 3).

Another autograph version on the Cimon and Iphigenia, of the same format and dimensions, is in the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina. It was given to the museum in 1937 by Alicia Hopton Middleton. In a sign of the artist’s international celebrity, the painting had been acquired by a member of the Middleton family on the Grand Tour in the 1780s; exhibited in Charleston in 1858, it is the first work by Kauffman in an American collection.

Dr. Bettina Baumgärtel has confirmed this work will be included in the upcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist. We are grateful to Professor Wendy Wassyng Roworth for her assistance cataloging this lot, as well as her support for the attribution on the basis of photographs.

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