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.


  • Title: Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus
  • Creator: Angelica Kauffmann
  • Creator Lifespan: 1741 - 1807
  • Creator Nationality: Swiss
  • Creator Gender: Female
  • Date Created: 1774
  • Physical Dimensions: w90.9 x h63.8 cm (without frame)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III in memory of Neill Turner Masterson, Jr.

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