The landscape and marine painter was initially self-taught , completed his studies with Emile van Marcke de Lummen (1827–1890) in Paris and undertook numerous study trips within Europe and through the Orient. He lived alternately in Paris, the city that had a special fascination for him, in Berlin , Düsseldorf and Munich . After Germany he traveled to Russia , Norway , Poland and Holland .
In 1890 he finally settled in Vienna, founded around 1900 in his studio - in Vienna's IV district , Weyringergasse 7 - together with the Austrian landscape painter Carl Freiherr von Merode (1853–1909) and Heinrich Lefler a “painting school for women”, in which he gave art lessons to his students. Throughout his life he returned to Paris again and again and went on trips to Normandy , Brittany and Belgium . In France he signed with the pseudonym A. Guyot.
Adolf Kaufmann was influenced by the French paysage intimate , the Barbizon school . Artists he met around 1870 had a lasting impact on Adolf Kaufmann's painting style. He turned out to be a very good observer of nature. In his motifs he preferred mostly high-contrast, color-intensive, atmospheric depictions of forests, trees, streams and small ponds, in which he often preferred to insert individuals, which is typical for him.
Due to his outstanding talent, Kaufmann soon enjoyed a great reputation in Paris. He received numerous medals as awards and honors, especially on the occasion of the Paris World Exhibition . Numerous art lovers bought his paintings. As a member of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts from 1890 to 1913, he was often at the major exhibitions in the Vienna Künstlerhaus , the Munich Glass Palace and the Great Berlin Art Exhibitionrepresented. The Viennese society was also enthusiastic about his works. In 1909 he became a full member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. In 1910 he traveled to Holland, in 1912 to Amsterdam and South Tyrol. In 1913 he traveled again to Holland and then to Norway, where his fjord pictures were taken. In 1914 he made his last trip to Northern Italy.
Adolf Kaufmann's works were often acquired by representatives of the high aristocracy. The Austrian imperial family, Napoleon III , owned or owned paintings by the artist . , Crown Princess Stephanie , Archduke Friedrich , Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Queen Isabella II of Spain and the Grand Ducal Painting Collection of Baden-Baden . These works are now represented in numerous collections and museums, including the Troppau Museum, the Istanbul Art Museum and the Leopold Museumin Vienna. Numerous pictures clearly attributed to the artist are signed by him using a pseudonym. (Besides A. Guyot, A. Kaufmann used other names, such as: A. Papouschek; Widmar; G. Salvi; A. Jarptmann; R. Neiber; Tietz; J. Rollin; M. Bandouch; L. Bayer or L. Bauer. )