Lot 601: Swiss-born Austrian neoclassical painter (1741–1807) who was one of two female founding members of the Royal Academy in London. ALS in German, one page both sides, 7.5 x 9, November 18, 1792. Letter to Christoph Martin Wieland in Weimar, who had asked her for illustrations, in part (translated): "Do accept herewith in kindness my best thanks for everything—especially for the favor you have shown me. As concerns the drawing, it would be my pleasure to try and serve you; I have known for several years the excellent poem Oberon, and have read it various times, and always with delight; it contains a wealth of thoughts and images. Now I beg of you, my most honored friend, indicate to me a few passages therein which you would wish to see drawn, and upon which I will then base my paintings, so I shall be certain not to err in my choice." Intersecting folds and show-through from writing to opposing sides, otherwise fine condition. From the collection of Count Victor Wimpffen, Rome, 1900.
German poet and writer Christoph Martin Wieland reached out to Kauffman in September of 1792 at the urging of his friend and neighbor, Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. With his Collected Works being gathered and prepared for publication, he hoped for a few illustrations from Kauffman for his poetic masterpiece 'Oberon.' Despite both parties' enthusiasm for the project, their collaboration never came to fruition; Johann Heinrich Ramberg, who had done significant illustration work for Wieland, threatened to withdraw his efforts if any other artists were employed, thus ending talk of Kauffman's potential involvement. Handwritten material from Kauffman is exceedingly rare, and with it's excellent content regarding her illustrations in combination with a major voice in German poetry, this is an outstanding piece.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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