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(Born Chur, 30 October 1741; died Rome, 5 November 1807). Swiss painter, active mainly in Italy and England. From an early age she travelled with her father, the painter Joseph Johann Kauffmann (1707–82), in Switzerland and Italy, and she formed her style in Rome. In 1766 she moved to London, where her work and her person were vastly admired. A foundation member of the Royal Academy in 1768, she was a close friend of the president, Sir Joshua Reynolds, their relationship giving rise to gossip and to a satirical picture by Nathaniel Hone. (Canova, Dance, Goethe, and Winckelmann were among the other distinguished men who were charmed by her.) Kauffmann began in England as a fashionable portraitist, but then devoted herself more to historical scenes and also did decorative work for Robert Adam and other architects.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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