Angelica Kauffman RA, A scene from the story of Rhodope and King Psammetichus of Egypt

A scene from the story of Rhodope and King Psammetichus of Egypt, 1780

Angelica Kauffman RA (1741 - 1807)

RA Collection: Art

This intriguing image illustrates an ancient version of the Cinderella fairytale. The eagle, perched on a throne with a slipper in its mouth refers to the story of Rhodope, a Greek girl sold into slavery in Egypt. According to the legend, one of her slippers was stolen by an eagle and dropped at the feet of the Pharoah, Psammetichus. Struck by the beauty of the shoe, the Pharoah vowed to find its owner and marry her. The nude figure on the right is not Rhodope but Fortuna, the goddess of fate and fortune.

This work comes from one of sixteen volumes of Royal Academy Annual Exhibition catalogues that were collected and extra-illustrated by the lawyer and antiquarian Edward Basil Jupp F.S.A. (1812 - 1877). The catalogues span the period from the first annual exhibition in 1769 up to 1875. Jupp added drawings, prints, letters and autographs by, or referring to, Academicians and other exhibitors at the Academy's annual exhibition.

E.B. Jupp was a solicitor who married Eliza Kay, daughter of the architect William Porden Kay. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a clerk of the Carpenters' Company, of which he published a history. Jupp amassed a large collection of paintings by British and Dutch artists, drawings, prints, books and porcelain most of which was sold after his death, at Christie's in February 1878.

Many of the drawings in Jupp's Royal Academy extra-illustrated volumes were bought from art sales during the 1860s. He was also acquainted with a number of contemporary artists and several drawings in the later volumes (along with many of the letters and autographs) were sent from the artists themselves.

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Object details

A scene from the story of Rhodope and King Psammetichus of Egypt
Angelica Kauffman RA (1741 - 1807)
Object type
Pen and ink and wash on cream laid paper

187 mm x 154 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Leverhulme Trust 1936

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