This oval painting representing an Allegory of Hope was the reception piece donated to the Accademia di San Luca by Angelica Kauffmann upon her admission to the Academy on 5th May 1765. The painting, of which Kauffmann herself produced an engraving in 1765, portrays a young woman in classical costume, her cheek resting on her hands, which are crossed and rest, in turn, on an anchor, symbolizing Christian hope. It has been suggested that the model’s pretty and gently melancholy face might be that of the artist herself – a plausible but unconfirmed hypothesis. A similarly studied pose appears in Penelope at Her Loom (Hove, Museum and Art Gallery) which was painted a year earlier, again employing compositional elements redolent of Emilian classicism.
P.Di Natale


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