Kauffmann and Reiffenstein first met in Italy in 1762 when Kauffman executed an etched portrait of him.1 When Kauffmann later moved permanently to Rome in 1782, she and Reiffenstein struck up a friendship. In his capacity as cicerone, Reiffenstein was the first stop for German and Russian travellers in Rome. As a part of his introduction to life in Rome, Reiffenstein would take tourists to the studios of the principle painters, including that of Kauffmann. He is known also to have acted as an art agent, handling sales and willingly sharing his knowledge. He and Kauffmann became very close, and his death in 1793 was a severe blow to her.
A drawn study for the present portrait is in the collection of the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum, Bregenz.2
1. B. Baumgärtel, Angelika Kauffmann, exh. cat., Ostfildern 1998, p. 122, cat. no. 15, reproduced.
2. Inv. no. Z389; Natter 2007, p. 166, reproduced fig. 78.
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