In the field of portraiture Kauffman created a particular niche for herself as a painter of women and children.

This association, combined with her undoubted prestige as an artist, made her an ideal choice for the Pulteneys in commissioning a portrait of their daughter, aged about eleven. This portrait represents a particular form which Kauffman developed: a full-length figure within a size of canvas normally used for bust-length portraits. The small scale of such figures was perfectly attuned to that delicacy of style which contemporaries judged to be so suited to the representation of feminine beauty. In her youth Henrietta Laura was described as an 'indefatigable dancer' and Kauffman captures something of this carefree spirit in the implied movement of drapery and in the sitter's gesture and pose.

Provenance

The Pulteney family.


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