Artist NameAngelica Kauffmann (Chur 1741 - 1807 Rome)
Date of Artworkca. 1778
MediumBlack chalk, heightened with white chalk, on prepared paper
SizePurchase, Suzette Morton Davidson, class of 1934, Fund, 1968.24, Loeb Art Center, Vassar College.

Further Information

Before the twentieth century, academies and art schools restricted most women artists from drawing the male nude, a cornerstone of history painting, for a long time the highest category of art. To counteract this, Swiss artist Angelica Kauffman, an avid student of history while growing up in Italy, took advantage of rendering the female form and referencing female subjects in her neoclassical works. Drawn in London, this supple sheet is a preparatory study for her painting, Electra Giving Her Sister Chrysothemis Her Girdle and a Lock of Hair from Orestes for the Grave of Agamemnon (private collection), of ca. 1778.