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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Artist
Angelica Kauffmann, Swiss, 1741–1807, active Italy and England
Title
Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus
Date
1774
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
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
Rienzi
FOYER
Accession Number
69.23
Classification
Painting
Provenance

George Bowles, Wanstead, Essex, U.K.; to his sister, Rebecca Rushout, wife of the 1st Baron Northwick; by descent to Captain Edward George Spencer- Churchill, Northwick Park, Gloucestershire, U.K.; [Christie’s, London, 25 June 1965, lot 89]; Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III, 1965; given to MFAH, 1969.