Pompeo Girolamo Batoni

January 25, 1708 – February 4, 1787

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni was an Italian painter who displayed a solid technical knowledge in his portrait work and in his numerous allegorical and mythological pictures. The high number of foreign visitors travelling throughout Italy and reaching Rome during their Grand Tour, made the artist specialized in portraits. Batoni won international fame largely thanks to his customers, mostly British of noble origin, whom he portrayed, often with famous Italian landscapes in the background. Such "Grand Tour" portraits by Batoni were in British private collections, thus ensuring the genre's popularity in the United Kingdom. One generation later, Sir Joshua Reynolds would take up this tradition and become the leading English portrait painter. Although Batoni was considered the best Italian painter of his time, contemporary chronicles mention of his rivalry with Anton Raphael Mengs.