(b. 1741, Chur, d. 1807, Roma)
Portrait of a Young Woman1781
Oil on canvas, 130 x 102 cm
Frankfurter Goethe-Museum, Frankfurt
Even at the age of eleven, Angelica Kauffmann earned admiring praise for her portrait of Bishop Nevroni and although she would later concentrate on allegorical, antique, historical and religious themes in her paintings, the portrait was to remain the driving force behind her success throughout her life. She received so many commissions that her painting tended to become rather routine, taking on an increasing smoothness and superficial appeal at the expense of a more distinctive style. This Portrait of a Young Woman also has something routine about it, and is as pleasingly decorative as any interior decor that she might have created in her frequent collaboration with the English architect Robert Adam. Nevertheless, it does show a face as that of a highly sensitive personality.