Caroline Bardua (also Karoline Bardua; 11 November 1781 in Ballenstedt, Anhalt-Bernburg – 2 June 1864) was a German painter. She was one of the first middle-class women who was able to create an existence for herself as an independent artist.
Caroline Bardua was the daughter of Johann Adam Bardua, the valet of Alexius Frederick Christian, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg, and Sophie Sabine Kirchner. Her first art instruction came from 1805 to 1807 under Hans Heinrich Meyer in Weimar. In Weimar she was also an acquaintance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose portrait she drew. From 1808 to 1811 she, together with Louise Seidler, was a student of Gerhard von Kügelgen in Dresden. In his workshop she and other students produced copies of paintings. She also became acquainted with Anton Graff and the then unknown Caspar David Friedrich. After the end of her apprenticeship with Kügelgen, Caroline and her sister, the singer Wilhelmine Bardua, traveled together to Paris and Frankfurt.