Portrait of John Talbot, later 1st Earl Talbot
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Pompeo Batoni
Italian, 1773
Oil on canvas
108 x 71 3/4 in.

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In a portrait commemorating his Grand Tour, the Englishman John Talbot, later first Earl Talbot, casually poses full-length before a Roman background. Legs crossed in a leisurely manner, the young Talbot leans on his left elbow and rests his right hand on the top of his walking stick. He wears a light gold waistcoat and breeches with a rose-pink velvet coat and white hose and holds a tricornered hat with gold braid. Around him are allusions to his interest in classical antiquity. The Ludovisi Mars statue on the left and the Medici Vase on the right stand for two of Rome's most popular and important works of art. The broken capital in the left foreground and the base of a column at the right refer to Rome's classical architectural heritage.

Pompeo Batoni was known for his portraits of wealthy Grand Tourists during their stay in Rome. He frequently depicted them in the presence of antiquities in order to amplify their image as learned, cultivated, yet leisured aristocrats.

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