Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures (RTE)

7:00 AM

Angelica Kauffmann, Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures, 1785
By: SARAH XU

Typically, one’s most valuable treasure consists of precious metals or gems. But, in Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures by Angelica Kauffmann, one women displays her variety of jewels, while Cornelia indicates that her children are what she considers her treasures. Once Cornelia brings out her children, the other woman seems embarrassed by her material treasure. Cornelia’s children, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, grew up to be political leaders. Even the most exquisite and rare jewels and other valuables are insignificant compared to children, who are the future and have the ability to positively impact the world. Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures falls under the category of exemplum virtutis, since it depicts virtue. Also, Kauffmann’s painting exhibits the transition from lush scenery of Rococo art to the new era of art.

Angelica Kauffmann, originally from Switzerland, received a thorough education. Her father was a muralist who not only introduced art to Angelica, but also took her around Europe and exposed her to influential artists of that time such as Benjamin West, Winckelmann, Gavin Hamilton, and more. She was the first woman painter to challenge the masculine control over historic paintings, but also influenced other painters. Kauffmann’s accomplishments are particularly impressive due to her lack of training with nude models.

Kauffmann had a specific interest in society's portrayals of women. But, people at the time were not interested in her historic paintings. Instead, her portraits of affluent people had a higher demand, making them her main source of her income. The money earned from these portraits allowed her to paint what truly interested her: historic scenes. Shortly after her historic paintings were created, people declared Kauffmann and Benjamin West as the initiators of the Neoclassical style in England. Kauffmann was known for her originality with the impressive ability to transfer a real scene to a canvas with her clear brushwork and vivid colors.

Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures not only depicts treasures, but was also one of Angelica Kauffmann’s actual treasures.

You Might Also Like

0 comments