by Angelica Kauffmann
oil on canvas, circa 1777
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
Given by Charles Davis, 1908
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Artistback to top
- Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807), Painter. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Portraits are sometimes about disguise or play-acting. This example shows an eighteenth-century sitter - John Simpson - in theatrical 'van Dyck' style costume with slashed doublet, lace collar and extravagant plumed hat. Such seventeenth-century costume had been popular at fancy-dress parties as well as in portraiture since the 1730s. Here the historic style is contrasted with a sculptured pedestal, with a relief of a grieving woman which reflects the rise of sentimental, neo-classical taste in the 1770s.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 437
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 566