According to Sortais (1910):
Angelica showed a great aptitude for music and singing, and some of her fathers friends strongly urged her to give up painting, but in vain. This episode in her life she has represented in a picture, showing herself, between Painting and Music, bidding farewell to Music.
There was no question it was in painting that she showed much progress. And before she even completed her twelfth year, she had become a notability, with bishops and nobles for her sitters. The bishop of Milan summoned her to paint his portrait. Due to her immense talent and personal charms, Francis the III of Este, Duke of Modena and Governor of Milan, declared himself her protector. Also, Cardinal Roth invited her to Constance and commissioned her to paint his portrait (Sortais 1910).
Kauffman lost her father in 1782; and in 1795, her husband. These blows to her personal life did not deter her to continue with her passion in painting and continued at intervals to contribute to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, the academy’s purpose of which is to professionalize the artists working for the French court and give them a stamp of approval, her last exhibit being in 1797.
She has produced a few of her works after this time. On a fateful day, November 5, 1807, she died in Rome. She was honored by a wonderful funeral under the direction of Canova, an Italian sculptor who became famous for his marble sculptures.
Numerous prominent personalities were in attendance during her funeral procession, following her to her tomb, including the entire Academy of St. Luke, several ecclesiastics and virtuosi, with two of her pictures carried in procession.
Kauffman was an advocate of neo-classicism in her works. What neo-classicism depends on most fundamentally is a consensus about a body of work that has achieved canonic status, or that which asserts a compendium of the greatest works of artistic merit ...
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