KAUFFMAN, Angelica (1741-1807). Drawn by Joan BAPT. DELL'ERA engraved by Raphael MORGHEN (1758-1833)
[Portrait of Angelica Kauffman and Family]
c. 1795. Engraving. Printed on laid paper. Collector mark bearing the initials E.O printed in blue ink on verso of sheet. Some rippling in the middle of image. Image size: 22 x 15 1/16 inches. Sheet size: 31 x 21 ½ inches. Plate mark: 25 ¾ x 16 5/8 inches.
An exceedingly rare self/family portrait by Raphael Morghen after a painting by Angelica Kauffman.
Though the whereabouts of the original painting is not known, this is clearly a self-portrait of Angelica Kauffman (seated) with what appear to be two grown children and a son-in-law. She holds what is perhaps a portrait of her second husband, Francesco Zucchi, who died in 1795. Her children would have to have been from her unhappy first marriage. There is no title but rather a text in French about how virtue is instilled in children.
This impressive portrait was painted by the celebrated artist Angelica Kauffman and engraved by the renowned Italian printmaker Raphael Morghen. Kauffman was a child prodigy, who executed her first commissioned work before the age of thirteen. As a child she traveled through Austria and Italy with her father, the painter Joseph Kauffman. She assisted him by painting the backgrounds of his works, but she quickly received her own commissions and established a reputation for herself as an accomplished painter. In 1766 she traveled to London, where she painted portraits and decorative paintings. She was a close friend of Reynolds and was one of the first female members of the British Royal Academy. Goethe called her "the most accomplished woman in Europe".
Raphael Morghen received his first artistic training from his father, the accomplished engraver Filippo Morghen. Like Kauffman, Morghen was also a child prodigy, publishing his first engraving at the age of twelve. By the age of twenty he had established himself as one of the premiere engravers in Europe allowing him to garner countless commissions. He worked in Naples, Rome and Florence and produced over two hundred and fifty prints during his prolific career.
Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs.