Swiss/Austrian (born in Switzerland), 1741–1807
Mythological Figures, c. 1790
ink, wash on paper
17.1 x 17.2 cm Image: 14.7 x 14.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Estate of Arnold O. Brigden
The Swiss-born Angelica Kauffmann travelled to Rome in her early twenties and became quickly ensconced in the artistic community, particularly with the resident British artists. In 1766 she went to London to continue her studies and met many of the leading painters in the city, including Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. Two years later she was among the founders of the Royal Academy and was one of the few women artists granted membership. Embracing the Neoclassical style, Kauffmann often chose themes derived from classical mythology, history, and contemporary literature. She was particularly adept with decorative commissions, and with her husband, Antonio Zucchi, she worked on several projects for the architect and designer Robert Adam. This drawing from the 1790s is a study in classical forms and features two lovers in a landscape setting. Kauffmann’s elegant lines and sparing use of washes for volume and shadow adds to the decorative quality of the work.