On February 4th 1789, Pompeo Batoni, the most fashionable portrait painter in 18th century Rome, died.
Batoni was born in Lucca in 1708, but in 1727 he moved to Rome where he spent the rest of his life. From 1759 he lived in a large house in Via Bocca di Leone (25), which included a studio, exhibition rooms and a drawing academy.
From princes to popes, anyone who was anyone wanted to have their portrait painted by Batoni. During the course of his career, he painted three popes: Benedict XIV (r. 1740-58), Clement XIII (r. 1758-69) and Pius VI (r. 1775-79).
Batoni was also very popular with the British milordi, who flocked to Rome as part of the Grand Tour.
Pompeo Batoni is buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
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