Roberto Bompiani

Dates(Roman), 1821 - 1908

Roberto Bompiani's highly finished paintings of scenes from Roman antiquity earned him the nickname "the Italian Bouguereau." Although he ultimately devoted himself almost exclusively to painting, he first trained as a sculptor, enrolling at the Roman Accademia di San Lucaat age fifteen.

As a painter, Bompiani depicted historical, mythological, and religious subjects in a conservative, idealized style, making his figures physically perfect and giving them noble, spiritual expressions. An art historian at the time wrote that despite Bompiani's conservative approach, "he showed himself open to new ideas and emancipated himself in his best work almost entirely from what was narrow and conventional in the style imposed upon him by his early training."

In later years, Bompiani increasingly painted landscape watercolors. In the late 1870s, he began painting a series of portraits that included his wife and members of the Borghese family. He served as a professor and ultimately president of the Roman Accademia di San Luca.