Lot 142
  • 142

Angelica Kauffmann, R.A.

60,000 - 80,000 USD
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  • Angelica Kauffmann, R.A.
  • Flora
  • oil on canvas
  • 30 by 25 in.; 76.2 by 63.5 cm.


Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 9 July 1937, lot 139 (as A. Kauffman, Portrait of the Artist), to Waters;
Acquired by the present owner from a family member in the 1960s.


The canvas is lined. The painting presents a beautiful image with details well preserved especially on the flowers of the crown and bouquet the sitter has and on her hair. There appears to be some thinness to the paint, like for example at center right on the dark background. There is a pin-dot of loss on the sitter's red robe at center left, though this is barely visible. On the sitter's face there appears to be two small fills that possibly address old losses: one is on the cheek, at center left of the lip and the other is on the chin, at bottom right of the lip. A minor thin line that is barely noticeable runs horizontally across the center of the painting as a result of the stretcher bar. Some scuffing possibly due to framing is along the bottom edge. Inspection under UV shows a dirty varnish and some scattered spots of retouches on the dark hues of the red cloth, the brown hues on top of the bouquet at center left, and the dark shadowed area on the robe underneath the arm at center. A thin area of retouching runs about 5 inches above the fingers of the sitter's right hand, which appears to address an old tear. Other smaller spots of retouches are scattered here and there, like on the sitter's arms and outline of the right hand, and on the background at center left. The painting is in overall good and stable condition, thought it could benefit from a light clean and readdressing of the older restoration which has now become visible to the naked eye. The canvas is offered in an elaborately carved gilded frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

We are grateful to Dr. Bettina Baumgärtel for confirming this painting to be by Angelica Kauffmann, on the basis of firsthand inspection, and for informing us that there is a pendant painting representing Ceres in a private collection, Spain.  Both paintings will be published in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Kauffmann. Beginning in the early 1760s, Kauffmann began to expand beyond pure portraiture into historical and mythological subjects. Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and springtime. Called Chloris by the Greeks, she was the consort of Zephyrus, the west wind of springtime.  Flora is usually portrayed as a lovely young woman and, as Kauffmann has depicted her here, carries flowers in her lap and wears a garland in her hair.  Though neither Flora nor its pendant are dated, they were probably painted in the 1780s, by which time Kauffmann was living in Italy with her second husband, the artist Antonio Zucchi.  Another painting by Kauffmann depicting Flora, signed and dated 1790 and paired with a pendant of Hygieia, goddess of health, was painted for the Duca di Santa Croce, Palazzo St. Elia, Palermo.1

1.  See sale catalogue, London, Sotheby’s, 8 November 1995, lots 118 and 119, reproduced in color.