Born in Switzerland, trained in Italy, and made famous in England, Angelica Kauffmann was one of Europe's leading Neoclassical painters. A popular portraitist of wealthy aristocrats, tourists, and celebrities, she was also a painter of historical and mythological subjects and was fascinated by the classical frescoes then being excavated at Pompeii. In the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus escapes the Minotaur's labyrinth with the help of his lover, Ariadne, whom he later abandons on the Aegean island of Naxos. Here, Kauffmann portrays the forsaken woman at the moment Theseus's ship sails away.
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Angelica Kauffmann, Swiss, 1741–1807, active Italy and England
Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus
- Oil on canvas
- Canvas: 25 1/8 × 35 13/16 in. (63.8 × 90.9 cm) Frame: 32 1/8 × 42 1/2 in. (81.6 × 108 cm)
- Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III in memory of Neill Turner Masterson, Jr.
- Current Location
- Accession Number
George Bowles, Wanstead, Essex, England; to his sister, Rebecca Rushout, wife of the 1st Baron Northwick; by descent to Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill, Northwick Park, Gloucestershire, England; [Christie’s, London, June 25, 1965, lot 89]; Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III, 1965; given to MFAH, 1969.