Pompeo Girolamo Batoni
(1708 - 1787)
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni was active/lived in Italy. Pompeo Batoni is known for religious and nobility portrait.
Pompeo Batoni was born in 1708, the son of a goldsmith of Lucca and one of the most ostentatiously wealthy and successful painters of the 19th century Roman school. He carried out monumental church commissions and painted religious and mythological canvases, many for eminent foreign patrons.
One of his teachers was the Master Sebastiano Conca. He won his greatest reknown for smoothly executed portraits of popes, monarchs and British gentry and nobility. He was perhaps the most successful Italian portraitist and his Roman studio was besieged with clients. At best, Batoni could paint with ravishing grace. He celebrated the silky and luxurious feminity of the young women by whom, to the envy of other Roman painters, he was surrounded throughout his life.
Batoni was the acknowledged master of the Grand Tour genre, finding a lucrative market in a parade of English noblemen who considered foreign travel part of their classical education - as well as their birthright. Apparently they loved to have their journeys recorded in portraits, and Batoni was only too happy to accommodate them. He depicted his affluent tourist clients as energetic members of a leisure class who had the world at their command.
He was curator of the Papal collections and was knighted by the pope. His house was a social, intellectual and artistic center. He died in 1787.
Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Oxford Companion to Art, edited by Harold Osborne
Time Magazine, March 8, 1971
Suzanne Muchnic in LA Times, Thursday, December 29, 1994.
Pompeo Batoni was without doubt the most sought after portrait painter
in 18th century Rome. The career of this artist, who was born in Lucca
and originally trained as a goldsmith, began with religious and
mythological narrative paintings for which he received commissions from
almost every royal court in Europe, including those of Frederick II of
Prussia, Catherine II of Russia and Empress Maria Therese. His portraits
were mainly requested by the Italian aristocracy, but also by foreign
aristocrats making halt in Rome in the course of the Grand Tour.
Batoni is considered one of
the most innovative artists of his time with regards to both narrative
and portrait painting. His portraits illustrate the transition away from
the starkly formal and representative courtly portraits of the 17th
century, to the new 18th century style which was marked by a more
relaxed manner, concentrating more on the individual and psychological
characteristics revealed within the sitter's features.