The Sorrow of Telemachus

Angelica Kauffmann Swiss

Not on view

Kauffmann was born in Switzerland but made her reputation in Italy and England, where she was a founding member of the Royal Academy. This painting and its pendant were executed in Rome for Monsignor Onorato Caetani, who in the same year had his portrait painted by Kauffmann. His later portraits by Mengs and Batoni attest to the tight‑knit, international character of eighteenth‑century Roman intellectual circles. Kauffmann was among Europe’s most sought-after history painters. In this painting, based on François Fénelon’s The Adventures of Telemachus (1699), Calypso motions her nymphs to be silent when their songs about Telemachus’s father, Ulysses, cause him sorrow.

The Sorrow of Telemachus, Angelica Kauffmann (Swiss, Chur 1741–1807 Rome), Oil on canvas

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