While many of us of a certain age remember Angelica Huston and Jack Nicholson as the penultimate power couple, not many of us know, however, about the powerful couple of another age, Angelica Kauffman and Sir. Joshua Reynolds.
Kauffman, the daughter of a talented, although unsuccessful painter, became a painter, mostly of society portraits, but also of historical paintings. She met Reynolds in 1766. The records show them as great friends. Kauffman supported Reynold’s efforts to create a Royal Academy and she was one of the first members.
We do not know the extent of her relationship to Reynolds. He helped her out of a nasty marriage and it is rumored that he wanted to marry her. Reynolds, himself, never married. She was pursued by the artist Fuseli and had an affair with Marat, as in death in the bathtub fame.