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Enjoying international success as a painter of portraits and mythological, historical, and literary subjects, Kauffman was especially admired in England, where she was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts. After 1781 Kauffman settled in Rome and developed a fashionable clientele that included many Grand Tour visitors and European aristocrats. Eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Charlestonians participated in the Grand Tour tradition. The painting of Cymon and Iphigenia was probably purchased by a member of the Middleton family in the 1780s. Nathaniel Russell Middleton exhibited it at the Carolina Art Association in 1858.

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