|Dates||(Lucchese), 1708 - 1787|
Anyone who was anyone who visited Rome simply had to have his or her portrait painted by Pompeo Batoni. His delicate technique, elegant draftsmanship, and ability to tastefully incorporate ancient sculptures and monuments into his pictures dovetailed perfectly with Europe's vogue for the
Batoni's sensibility was joyful and elegant, mirroring the carefree attitude of eighteenth-century society as a whole. It is said that more than 150 Englishmen alone sat for him. His sitters appreciated his polished precision and the air of informal modernity he created by placing them in semi-natural settings featuring Roman sculptures, architecture, or archaeological finds--often those they themselves had admired or even acquired. He painted three popes and many princes, and his clients included Catherine the Great of Russia. Batoni became curator of the papal collections, and his home was a meeting place for Rome's intellectual and social elite.