This meticulously researched catalogue presents an authoritative assessment of the works of Pompeo Batoni (1708–1787), one of the 18th century’s most celebrated painters. Born in Lucca, Batoni established himself in Rome and received commissions from popes, princes, and British aristocrats on the Grand Tour. Batoni was highly sought after for his theatrical yet incisive—and often flattering—portraits. Connoisseurs and cognoscenti also prized his learned and technically brilliant allegorical, religious, and mythological compositions.
With entries on more than 480 paintings and 250 drawings, this magnificent two-volume set provides the most complete examination to date of Batoni’s entire oeuvre. Featuring beautiful, high-quality reproductions, the book provides thorough details on provenance and exhibition history as well as biographies of the portrait sitters. New analysis of the works, resulting from decades of research, reinterprets some of Batoni’s iconography, identifies new textual and visual sources of his imagery, and reveals insights gleaned from unpublished archival materials.
Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Edgar Peters Bowron is the former Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
“The book provides a notably solid and comprehensive tool for future research.”—Stephane Loire, The Burlington Magazine
“It fully holds up Yale’s reputation as the world’s best art publisher: scrupulous scholarship, superb illustrations and matchless reproductions. Batoni was the most accomplished of the Grand Tour portraitists, and for anyone building up a library of 18th-century culture, this is a must.”—Paul Johnson, Spectator
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