Angelica Kauffmann

Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon, about 1749 - 1812. Wife of the 4th Duke of Gordon (1772 [?])

About this artwork

Jane Maxwell, the daughter of a minor baronet, married the 4th Duke of Gordon in 1767. The Duke was one of the most eligible men in Britain, known for his good looks and extensive landholdings. Despite an unhappy marriage the duchess had seven children, helped run the vast family estates and became a leader of fashionable society both in London and Edinburgh. A great friend of the prime minister, William Pitt, her Pall Mall home was the social hub of the Tory party. In this portrait by the Swiss artist Angelica Kauffmann, the duchess is dressed as the goddess Diana, the virgin huntress with her bow and quiver. She wears a miniature of her husband at her breast.

  • title: Jane Maxwell, Duchess of Gordon, about 1749 - 1812. Wife of the 4th Duke of Gordon
  • accession number: PG 2786
  • artist: Angelica KauffmannSwiss (1741 - 1807)
  • depicted: Jane Maxwell
  • gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1772 [?]
  • measurements: 91.40 x 70.70 cm (framed: 109.50 x 89.20 x 6.00 cm)
  • credit line: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1989

Angelica Kauffmann

Angelica Kauffmann

Nurtured by her artist father, Swiss-born Angelica Kauffmann was an accomplished artist and musician by the age of twelve. Following formal art training in Italy, she lived and worked in London from 1766 until 1781. During these years she was one of two female founder members of the Royal Academy of Arts and became celebrated throughout Europe for her portraits, historical paintings, etchings, engravings and decorative designs. It was this versatility which appealed to the public and ensured Kauffmann made a successful living from her compositions. After a short-lived marriage to a bogus count, she wedded the Italian artist Antonio Zucchi and returned to Italy where she lived for the rest of her life.