About this artwork

The high forehead and inquisitive eyes suggest the many talents of this clever young man . Hall, a pioneer of geology, then a young and controversial scientist, spent three years touring Europe, investigating the rock formations of the Alps and Apennines and studying volcanoes in Italy. This sympathetic portrait was painted in Rome by one of the city's most fashionable artists.

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.