To celebrate the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary, Saltram focuses on two of its founding members who had close links to the house.
Angelica Kauffman was the most famous female painter of her day. Her series of history paintings were exhibited in the first ever Royal Academy exhibition in London and purchased by the Parker family for display in their country residence of Saltram.
Joshua Reynolds, born in nearby Plympton, was a friend of the Parkers and the first President of the Royal Academy. He painted many portraits of the family including the famous portrait of Theresa Parker commissioned to hang in their Robert Adam-designed saloon.
Kauffman and Reynolds became friends, and her affectionate portrait of him – captured pensively with head on hand – hangs in Saltram’s staircase hall. The display will highlight key paintings by both Reynolds and Kauffman throughout the house. They include Kauffman’s self-portrait of herself playing a guitar, alluding to the choice she made to leave behind the more traditionally female career in music for the male- dominated fine arts.
This exhibition is part of RA250, supported by Art Fund.