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Smashing Times Arts and Human Rights Festival Event – In Frame: Some Aspects of Angelica Kauffman’s Ely Family Portrait

October 20 @ 2.00pm - 3.15pm

A talk focusing on several aspects of ‘The Ely Family portrait’, a large picture painted in Rathfarnham Castle in 1771 by the famous Swiss-Austrian artist, Angelica Kauffman. We will begin with some background information about the painter herself, who from relatively humble origins became one of the most celebrated painters in Europe. Widely travelled, incredibly talented and famous in her day, she was a founding member of the Royal Academy and spent several months in Ireland in 1771. We will then move to consider the enigmatic figure of the ‘Indian’ page standing in the right hand corner of Kauffman’s painting. Very little is known about this young boy but we will attempt to consider his background and identity and the treatment and experience of such ‘exotic’ people in eighteenth century Ireland.