|Title||Allegory of Painting|
|Alternative Title||Angelica Kauffman by Herself|
|Collection||Holburne Museum of Art, Bath|
Attributed to imitator of La Hyre, Laurent de (French painter and draftsman, 1606-1656)
Previously attributed to Kauffmann, Angelica (Swiss painter and printmaker, 1741-1807)
|Date Earliest||about 1650|
|Description||This seated lady with a palette and brushes in her left hand appears to be an allegory of the art of painting. She is painting a canvas on an easel with a scene of a seated classical female holding a sceptre and sword. She wears robes in the antique style in white, light blue and faded red, with a mask hanging from a chain round her neck. Her dark hair is bound with a fillet inscribed 'IMITATIO' (imitation). The painting has many similarities to the allegories of the liberal arts painted by Laurent de La Hyre in Paris around 1650. Painting was not one of the ancient liberal arts, but 'imitatio' is closely associated with the art of rhetoric, and this image promotes the idea of the artist as orator.|
|Current Accession Number||A240|
|Measurements||74 x 99 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by Miss Mary Anne Barbara Holburne 1882.|
|Provenance||Sir Thomas William Holburne, by 1867-74; by descent to Mary Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882), 1874.|
|Publications||Wright, C., Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Old Master Paintings Executed before c.1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, p. 110, as Kauffman, 'attribution now doubted'.|
Labels: Thomas William Holburne label on reverse: 'Angelica Kaufman portrait of herself from Font Hill'.
Previous attributions: Catalogue of the Pictures and Library, Engravings, Etchings and Miniatures, Belonging to Sir Thomas William Holburne, Bart., Bath, 1867, cat. no. 191: 'Angelica Kauffman, by herself' (back drawing room); Catalogue of the Holburne of Menstrie Art Museum by W.Chaffers, London, 1887, cat. no. 1510: 'Angelica Kauffman'; F. Möckler, Holburne of Menstrie Art Museum, Bath, 1902, cat. no. 181: 'Angelica Kauffman'; hand written register of paintings, watercolours and miniatures, giving inventory numbers with ‘A' prefix still in use, by G. Holden, Curator 1917-1926, compiled shortly after move to Sydney Hotel, cat. no. 240: 'English School'; Martin: 'A. Kauffman'; Sir Claude Phillips: 'not Angelica Kauffman'; Courtauld list, 1971, cat. no. 126: Kauffman; James Miller (Sotheby's), suggested association with allegories of the liberal Arts by Laurent de La Hyre.
Provenance: Holburne's sugestion of a Fonthill provenance needs to be researched further. Presumably from Fonthill Splendens (1755) or earlier, but may have come from 1823 sale where half the items were not in fact Beckford's. Sales were in 1801, 1802 (Christie's), 1807, 1817 (Christie's), 1823.
|Rights Owner||© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath|