Popular literature (selection)
Edited by Bettina Baumgärtel

To this day, popular biographies of and novels about Angelica Kauffman are widely read and have undoubtedly led to the artist’s fame.

Many of the publications, such as that by Angela Goodden, are well-researched and based on fact. However, a large number of the writings paint a clichéd picture of the artist and turn her life story into a tragic love story. Old legends and anecdotes about her are cited and embellished; new ones are invented. In order to achieve high sales figures on the books, the artist’s supposed love life is interpreted in amateur psychological manner without leading to any new insights.

These biographies usually focus intensively on the topic of marriage fraud, which sometimes accounts for as much as one third of the entire text. In fact, the case of marriage fraud in question was a very minor episode in the sixty-six years of the artist’s life. The later stages of her life are also often examined with a tunnel view of her amorous relationships. The question most frequently discussed is whether or not Angelica Kauffman had an affair with Goethe.


  • Katz, Gabriele: Angelika Kauffmann. Künstlerin und Geschäftsfrau, Stuttgart 2012
  • Pitt-Rivers, Françoise: Le Destin d’Angelica Kauffmann. Une Femme Peintre dans L’Europe du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris 2009
  • Alioth, Gabrielle: Der prüfende Blick. Roman über Angelica Kauffmann, München 2007
  • Naumann, Ursula: Geträumtes Glück. Angelica Kauffmann und Goethe, Frankfurt/M. 2007
  • Goodden, Angelica: Miss Angel. The Art and World of Angelica Kaufman, Eighteenth-Century Icon, London 2005
  • Weller, Simona: Ritratto di Angelica, Cava de’ Tirreni 1998 (dt. Übers. Die zehnte Muse. Das Leben der Angelika Kauffmann, übers. v. Christel Till-Galliani, München 1999)
  • Rebmann, Jutta: Angelika Kauffmann. Gefeierte Malerin im Europa des 18. Jahrhunderts. Biographischer Roman, Mühlacker 1994, 2. Aufl. 1998
  • Obermeier, Siegfried: Die Muse von Rom. Angelika Kauffmann und ihre Zeit, Frankfurt/M. 1987 (2. Auflage „Ein Weib mit ungeheurem Talent“, Düsseldorf 1998)
  • Schreiner, Samuel A.: Angelica. A novel, New York 1978
  • Mayer, Dorothy Moulton: Angelica Kauffmann, a biography, Gerrads Cross 1972
  • Smith-Dörrenberg, Irmgard: Angelika Kauffmann. Goethes Freundin in Rom, Wien 1968
  • Hartcup, Adeline: Angelica. The Portrait of an Eighteenth-century Artist, London und Melbourne und Toronto 1954
  • Passow-Kernen, Hilde: Angelika Kauffmann. Ein Künstlerroman des 18. Jahrhunderts, Zürich 1942
  • Sparrow, Walter Shaw: Angelica Kauffman’s Amazing Marriage, in: Connoisseur, Bd. XCII, 386, 1933, S. 242-248
  • Thackeray, Anne Isabella [Ritchie]: Miss Angel, in: Cornhill Magazine, London 1875
  • Sauerländer, J. D.: Angelika Kaufmann. Ein historischer Roman in zwei Bänden, Frankfurt/M. 1860
  • Wailly, Armand François Léon de: Angelica Kauffmann. Historischer Roman in zwei Bänden, Paris 1832, 2. Aufl. 1859


Citation note:
Baumgärtel, Bettina: Angelica Kauffman – Popular literature, in: Angelika Kauffmann Research Project – online, https://www.angelika-kauffmann.de/en/popular-literature/ [add date of access here]