Portrait of “Tuccia the Vestal Virgin” after A. Kauffman by Friedrich Hofelder


An oil painting on canvas showing a portrait of a classical maiden with an oil lamp painted by Friedrich Hofelder. This painting was done circa 1873 almost 100 years after the original by the late 18 Century neoclassical Swiss artist Angelika Kauffman. The painting is on canvas and is signed on the lower right “F. Hofelder” for Friedrich Hofelder a virtually unknown polish artist who is likely to have copied the original painting hanging at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden,Germany.

The maiden is depicted as a vestal virgin dressedc in classical attire, having chestnut hair concealed by a guarnello or thin veil and holding a Roman oil lamp.

The Swiss-born artist Angelica Kauffman, (1741-1807), was widely copied in the late 19th century when neo-classicism was enjoying a resurgence and this canvas is most probably one of them..

Kauffman trained with her father Joseph who specialized in mural decoration. A highly talented and precocious painter, her first independent works date from her teenage years. Kauffman lived and worked throughout her life in Italy, moving to Florence in 1762. In Italy she absorbed the Neoclassical ideas that became widespread in artistic circles. During her early years in Rome from 1763 Kauffman studied classical sculpture and perfected technical issues such as perspective while also dating from this period is her portrait of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, one of the theoreticians of Neo-classicism. In 1766 Kauffman left for England in the company of Lady Wentworth and a few days after her arrival visited Joshua Reynolds’ studio. Kauffman arrived in England at a fortuitous moment when the precepts of the new style had begun to take firm hold. Two years later she was involved in the foundation of the Royal Academy where she exhibited her works. Throughout her career Kauffman worked as a history painter and on the decoration of interiors but she was primarily appreciated for her portraits.The oval portrait is mounted in a wonderfully elaborate carved and gilded frame.

Dimensions: Framed approximately 54.75″H (139 cm) x 47.25″W (120cm) . Unframed approximately 37.75″H (96cm) x 30.25″W (77cm)

Ref. AO. FH5588