The sparky, true life novel tells the life story of a woman who battled misogyny to become one of the greatest artists of the eighteenth century.
Angelica Kaufman is so successful that when she comes to England as a young woman in 1766 a word is coined: Angelicamad. After fifteen triumphant years in London she is terrified (as a devout Catholic) by the Gordon Riots and returns to Italy.
In Rome, as an old lady, a lively young artist and model names Lucia is Angelica’s guest. And she’s pregnant, ridded with the scandal Angelica has been trying to avoid all her life. “She is the girl I trained myself not to be.” Male artists can do as they like but women always have to be decorous or they will lose their aristocratic patrons.
In her studio, Angelica stares at her self portraits and relives her journey from a poor background to international fame. She draws us into her fascinating past through the portraits she has painted of her friends, including Antonio Canova, Germaine de Stael, Emma Hamilton and Goethe.
This is a novel about a gifted and powerful woman with a kind heart. Like us, she lives at a time of bewildering change and fears the unknown future.
Hilary Mantel: ‘“Miller’s intricate fictions are lit by the dark flicker of a strong and original imagination.”
“A richly imagined and authoritative portrait of a fascinating and important painter, and a woman who was one of the most famous people of her era. Miller explores Angelica’s vivid and conflicted inner life with panache and passion.”— Jean McNeil, author of The Ice Diaries