Angelica Kauffman may have been hesitating between music and painting, as I showed previously, but she felt no need to choose between the fine and the decorative arts.
Kauffman collaborated with printmakers in the production of stipple engravings and mezzotints based on her paintings. She was directly involved in the production and marketing of her prints.
Kauffman was one of the few contemporary artists whose works were used to make ‘mechanical paintings’ – a process of colour reproduction that was invented in the 1770s and was especially suited for use in decorative schemes.
Kauffman may have provided some sketches for architect and designer Robert Adam, but she was not directly responsible for the many decorative works attributed to her.
Although Kauffman’s designs were widely used on walls, ceilings, porcelain and furniture, most of them were actually copied or reproduced by others or simply based on her style.
Even so, the usefulness of her neo-classical figures as decorative motifs ensured the continuing popularity of the Kauffman ‘brand’.